The passage in the Senate will almost certainly require 60 votes to overcome a democratic obstructionism, and although several Democrats have expressed their support in the past, the escalation for the N.R.A. It will be steep.
The Senate Judiciary Committee debated its own response to the shootings in Texas and Nevada on Wednesday and seemed willing to go ahead with a background check law. But the leaders of the Senate seemed reluctant to take the covert measure in the short term.
House Republicans and armed activists held the undercover vote anyway, hailing it as an important step toward victory in a decades-long struggle to extend the hidden carry-and-simplify rules for gun owners.
Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA, praised the vote as a "turning point" for Second Amendment rights.
"This project ensures that all observers of the law" The citizens of our great country can protect themselves in whatever way they see without accidentally breaking the law, "he said.
Democrats said the measure would endanger public safety and would set a dangerous precedent for the rights of primary states to determine their own laws.
"The answer to our national problem of armed violence is not that we need more people carrying concealed firearms in our streets", said Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the leader, Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
The laws that regulate the carrying of concealed weapons have traditionally been left in the hands of the states, creating a mosaic of varying standards and expectations. Some states, including New York and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia require permit applicants to have experience in real fire and safety training, along with a clean criminal record. Others are more forgiving, and a dozen states do not even require a permit.
The House bill would not force states to change their own laws, but would treat a concealed carry permit as a driver's license, allowing people allowed by any state to carry a concealed weapon with them to any other state.
It would also allow visitors to national parks, wildlife refuges, and other lands administered by the federal government to carry concealed weapons. And it creates a provision that would allow holders of qualified permits to carry concealed weapons in school zones.
Authorities in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, where strict gun control laws point to firearms, warned that the law would usurp the authority of states to establish their own laws and effectively enforce lax laws of the southern and rural states in densely populated cities.
Republicans in the Senate would need to raise at least eight Democrats to approve the measure. And while several Democrats backed a similar measure when it was last voted in 2013, the policy around guns has changed since then in the midst of an avalanche of deadly mass shootings. The result has been a virtual standoff since Democrats and Republicans can not agree on how to deal with armed violence.
Several Democrats voted in favor of the 2013 measure, including Senators Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Mark Warner of Virginia, Tom Udall of New Mexico, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, said this week they would not do it this time. Even Democrats perceived to be the most supporters of gun rights, including Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, were cautious when marking a post earlier than necessary.
The Republican leaders, wary of seeing the measure once again failed on the floor of the Senate, did not rush the hidden weapons bill to that chamber. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican and co-sponsor of the bill on undercover and background checks in the Senate, said on Tuesday he was "realistic enough" to realize that by following the leadership of the Camera combining the two bills would also be useless in your camera.
"If you put them together, it makes it harder to do what we can do and we can do now and we need to do," he said.
Senators from both parties believe that the background check project is one of the encouraging, albeit limited, areas of consensus. It was developed in response to the Sutherland Springs massacre, which occurred after the Air Force did not send the gunman's domestic violence conviction to the national database. If it had been, the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, would have been prohibited from buying a gun from a licensed gun dealer. The measure encourages states and federal agencies to report criminal offenses and other information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
During the Senate's judicial hearing, the Acting Director of the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also told senators that the agency is expected to begin regulating, and could even prohibit, the so-called stockpiles of bumps, which can turn semiautomatic rifles into weapons capable of firing long, deadly bursts. The Las Vegas shooter used such devices during his deadly attack.
Democrats in the House of Representatives denounced the Republicans' decision to combine the two bills and were concerned that they could close a rare window of bipartisanship around firearms. Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut and husband of former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously injured in a shootout in Tucson in 2011, called the move "reprehensible."
"Hidden reciprocity is worse than fixing the NICS system is a good thing," said Mr. Kelly, who helps lead a gun control group named after Ms. Giffords. "They do not cancel each other."
Continue reading the main story