2/25/2013

Senate Judiciary Committee to mark up gun control bills on Thursday

From Politico:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has released a series of gun-violence preventions bills — including a controversial assault weapons ban being pushed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — for mark up in his panel on Thursday. 
Because of procedural rules in the Judiciary Committee, any member — Republican or Democrat — could delay that session for a week. 
But the move to include the assault weapons ban in the committee package guarantees that the National Rifle Association and gun-rights groups will try to derail the bill in committee or when it reaches the Senate floor during the next several weeks. 
Other legislation being considered for Judiciary markup is a bill by Leahy to stop illegal gun trafficking; a “placeholder” proposal on universal background checks for all gun sales by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); and a measure by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to increase school safety. 
Leahy has been pushing for expanded background checks for all gun transactions. His legislation would make it more difficult for “straw purchasers” to obtain guns for third parties, especially those with criminal records or who would otherwise be ineligible to buy a gun themselves. . . .
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says that they aren't that close to a deal on background checks, but I always worry that the Dems are asking for more than they want and then compromise.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday that a bipartisan Senate group he belongs to isn’t “that close” to striking a deal to expand background checks on gun sales, citing a remaining disagreement over keeping records. 
“I don’t think we are that close to a deal,” Coburn said on “Fox News Sunday.” 
The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe reported that the group is on the verge of striking a deal to expand background checks to all private gun sales with limited exceptions, but that disagreements remain over the issue of recordkeeping of private gun sales. 
Coburn, who has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, voiced strong opposition to keeping records on sales involving law abiding gun owners. “There absolutely will not be recordkeeping on legitimate, law abiding gun owners in this country.” he said. “And if they want to eliminate the benefits of actually trying to prevent the sales to people who are mentally ill and to criminals, all they have to do is create a record keeping. And that will kill this bill.” . . . .
Amazingly, just the previous day the Washington Post reported:
A bipartisan group of senators is on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions, but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records of private gun sales, according to aides familiar with the talks. . . . 

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