In a fiery speech on the House floor, a Michigan congresswoman shared a personal story of domestic violence between her parents she experienced as a child to vehemently oppose a Republican procedural vote on a bill to expand gun background checks.
“I have spent more time thinking about how you keep guns out of the hands of abusers — probably than anybody in this chamber,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, said on the House floor Thursday. “I know better than most the danger they pose.”
Dingell revealed that her father was mentally ill. She had previously shared with CNN’s “New Day” that her father had an opioid drug problem.
“One night, I kept my father from killing my mother! He shouldn’t have had a gun!” she recalled on Thursday. “My mother went out and bought a gun, and then all of us were scared to death about her gun and my father’s gun! We had two guns to worry about!”
“No child, no woman, no man should ever have to go through that,” she said to the applause of her colleagues.
Dingell said the background check bill, HR 1112, would provide additional time that would help prevent more massacres like the 2015 Charleston church shooting.
“God, may it prevent another child or a family going through what I did as a family,” she said.
Dingell told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” in March 2018 that “more than once” she “had to hide in the closet with my siblings when my father was out of control and had a gun.”
The Republican “motion to commit” introduced Thursday was to allow victims of domestic violence who undergo a background check to receive their firearm within three days if a licensed gun dealer does not get a response from the FBI’s background check system.
The GOP motion was ultimately rejected and the bill, also called the Charleston loophole bill, passed the House in a 226-198 vote later Thursday.
The Charleston loophole bill would extend the background check review period from three days to 10 days, which lawmakers say allows more time to complete full background checks.
The legislation addresses a loophole in the current law that enables some firearms to be transferred by licensed gun dealers before the required background checks have been completed — a loophole that allowed the Charleston church shooter to buy a gun despite having drug charges on his record.
The House on Wednesday passed a universal background check bill, HR 8, marking the first time in more than two decades that it passed major gun control legislation.