Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Helena, and Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, were in the Bay Area on Saturday talking with their constituents about a bipartisan bill that would expand background checks for most gun sales across the nation.
Thompson, who is the lead author on H.R. 8, joined DeSaulnier for a town hall in Martinez on Saturday. A majority of Americans support the idea of background checks for firearm sales, and DeSaulnier said Saturday that it's finally gaining momentum with a new Democratic majority in the House.
"We just had the first hearing in eight years on a gun bill in the United States House of Representatives," DeSaulnier said.
With more than 200 co-authors, including a handful of Republicans, Thompson said he's confident that his bill will pass through the House Judiciary Committee next week and out of the House, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain.
Even at the town hall meeting with the local crowd, he spent time answering to a small but vocal smattering of critics, some of whom spoke out in support of the National Rifle Association, which opposes the measure, and submitted written questions asking why the lawmakers were trying to take away their rights.