The legislation “saves as many lives as possible,” McBath said.
Georgia Republicans disagreed.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said the measure fails to address many of the factors that led to recent mass shootings in Florida and Illinois.
“All this legislation will do is burden law-abiding citizens wishing to exercise their Second Amendment rights, including defending themselves from the gun-toting criminals this bill does nothing to combat,” Collins said in a floor speech Wednesday.
He introduced legislation earlier this week that seeks to increase information-sharing between law enforcement bodies and steepen penalties for stealing guns.
Collins scored a political victory for the GOP on Wednesday when he teed up consideration of an amendment requiring gun sellers to notify federal immigration agents when an immigrant lacking authorization tries to buy a firearm.
The provision was narrowly adopted, embarrassing Democrats and creating a brief ruckus on the House floor. After Democrats passed the underlying bill, gun control advocates cheered from the chamber’s galleries. Wearing an orange scarf, the color of the gun control movement, McBath stood among her Democratic colleagues who applauded back at the advocates.
The legislation is likely dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, but McBath vowed to press forward on other gun control bills.
“Today was a very big first step,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.