The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives held its first gun violence hearing in eight years this week, one of many issues they hope to tackle.

Democrats are set to pass bill HR8, which would expand background checks for both sales and transfers of firearms.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee chairman, said Wednesday that “for far too long, Republicans in Congress have offered moments of silence instead of action in the wake of gun tragedies. That era is over.”

Over the past several years — and especially last year — hundreds of mass shootings have occurred across the country in schools, shopping malls, places of worship and other public spaces. Many GOP politicians have refused to pass common sense gun reform laws, particularly those who receive hefty contributions from firearms groups like the National Rifle Association. Last year, which saw many young activists — like the students who survived the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day 2018 — confront local politicians and lead marches and rallies for nationwide gun control.

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Late last year, it was reported the NRA is facing financial struggles and may find itself unable to continue existing. In a tweet on Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee chairman, stressed the need to keep guns away from domestic abusers and other convicted criminals.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a House Judiciary member and an ally of President Donald Trump, tried to remove from Wednesday’s hearing parents of the students who died during the Parkland shooting. The Florida Republican became exasperated after Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Oliver began protesting in the room.

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