1/30/2013

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) signals push for so-call "universal" background checks

Leahy's comments show where the big battle is going to take place politically.
Leahy said he will be pushing for an expansion of background checks on all gun sales, a proposal that appears to have bipartisan support in the Senate and broader appeal to the American public in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
The Vermont Democrat, though, pointedly didn’t mention the assault weapons ban.
“I just don’t understand how anyone could be against universal background checks,” Leahy said in an interview. “We need to close the loopholes” for private gun sales or weapon purchases at gun shows. . . .
Of course, there are strong arguments against these background checks and also here.  The New York Times has this claim:
A gun bill that is limited to background checks, however, still remains a strong possibility in Congress this year, if the Republican leadership of the House would bring such a measure on the floor. “I was a co-sponsor of a conceal carry bill in Nebraska that had a significant background check component,” said Senator Deb Fischer, a newly elected Republican from Nebraska. . . . .
The Hill Newspaper has this:
A bipartisan group of senators is working on a proposal to strengthen background checks on gun purchasers.
The coalition of lawmakers includes Republican Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Democrats Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (W. Va.), according to USA Today, which first reported the talks.
The senators have not disclosed the reforms they are considering, but Coburn said the group is working to ensure that firearms remain out of the hands of those who “are a danger to themselves and other people,” according to the report.“I believe the mentally ill should never be able to get a gun, I believe criminals should never be able to get a gun," Coburn told USA Today. "There's nothing wrong with updating what we're doing to try to make that more effective." . . . . 

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