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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House voted 227-203 Thursday to pass a bill that would require background checks for all gun purchasers. Within hours, the chamber voted 219-210 on a second background check bill to close the "Charleston loophole," which allowed Dylann Roof to buy a firearm used to kill nine people at a Black church in 2015.

Why it matters: Overhauling the nation's gun control laws is a priority for Democrats and the Biden administration, but the bill is unlikely to pass the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, where Republicans oppose attempts to curtail gun rights.

Details: The first bill (H.R. 8) became the first gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years after it was first passed by the House in 2019, following a wave of youth-led activism in the wake of the Parkland shooting. It was never taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate.

  • The bill would prohibit anyone who is not a licensed firearms importer, manufacturer or dealer from transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person without a background check.
  • It exempts gifts from relatives and transfers for hunting, target shooting and self-defense.
  • Eight Republicans joined 219 Democrats in voting for the bill.

The second bill (H.R. 1446), introduced by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking Black member of Congress, increases the review period of the initial background check from three to 10 days.

  • White supremacist Dylann Roof was able to purchase a gun, despite a criminal conviction, because of a clerical error that caused the FBI's background check to take longer than three days.
  • "A large majority of Americans, including gun owners, support universal background checks. This legislation is needed to keep weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them and save lives," Clyburn said in a statement.

The big picture: The U.S. gun violence epidemic has grown since the pandemic began, NBC News reports.

  • Gun violence and gun crime rose dramatically in 2020, with over 19,000 people killed in shootings and firearm-related incidents, per the Gun Violence Archive.
  • May 2020 saw the highest number (59) of mass shootings of any month since the Gun Violence Archive began tracking mass shooting data in 2013, the nonprofit said last year.

The bottom line: "We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” Biden said in February while marking the anniversary of the Parkland school shooting. "The time to act is now."

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of taser

The officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, police said.

Driving the news: "This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.