Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) has co-sponsored an amendment to boost...

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) has co-sponsored an amendment to boost funding for states to conduct background checks on gun purchasers by $19.5 million to $78 million -- just days after a shooting rampage killed six at a California college. Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile, File

WASHINGTON -- The House gave rare bipartisan support Thursday for the national background check system for gun purchasers, voting 260 to 145 to pass an amendment to increase its funding by $19.5 million to $78 million.

The vote came days after six people were killed in a rampage in California. Three of the six were fatally shot.

The measure, co-sponsored by Reps. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), now becomes part of the House's $51.2 billion appropriations bill for the departments of Commerce and Justice, and other agencies for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

"This was a great victory for common sense," King said. He said states need the extra funding to make sure the system weeds out ineligible gun purchasers such as felons and the mentally ill.

The amendment had passed by voice vote late Wednesday, but Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), the appropriations bill sponsor, requested a roll-call vote.

The National Rifle Association remained silent, but the Gun Owners of America urged a no vote. In the final tally, 76 Republicans voted for the measure and 132 against it. Only four Democrats voted no.

The amendment increases funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by shifting money from other programs.

King's Democratic challenger Patricia Maher called the measure "too little, too late," saying in the past King voted to protect the gun industry.

King said, "My action speaks for itself."

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