Gun-Control Supporters Say Momentum Quietly Building to Get a Bill Through

Friday, November 29, 2013
By Paul Martin

Schumer: “We are going to pass background checks and then move on and do other things we have to do to get guns off the streets.”
November 28, 2013

WASHINGTON – Congressional gun-control advocates are preparing to take another run at expanding background checks on those looking to purchase firearms.

The legislation pending in the House requires that background checks on gun purchasers be required at gun shows and in similar settings. Currently, only transactions involving federally licensed firearms dealers require a background check.

A Senate bill requiring instant background checks for almost all sales through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which also prohibited firearms listings on unlicensed websites, fell six votes shy of the 60 needed to break a filibuster in April. But proponents maintain the culture is quickly changing and that support for additional firearms restrictions is growing in both the public and on Capitol Hill.

The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013, a measure sponsored by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, has been sitting idly in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations since April. But it has 185 co-sponsors, leaving it 33 votes short of a majority in the lower chamber. In addition to expanding background checks, the King-Thompson legislation creates a commission to study and report on the “root causes of these recurring and tragic acts of mass violence.”

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