Senate talks falling short of universal gun background checks
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The leading Senate negotiations on gun control legislation favor expanding background checks, but the effort would fall short of the universal approach backed by President Barack Obama and many Democrats, CNN has learned.
FBI background checks are currently required for commercial sales. The proposal being considered would expand them to gun shows and Internet sales, but would not require checks for any other private transactions, according to multiple sources from both parties who are familiar with the talks.
Sources familiar with the talks between Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, tell CNN they exchanged proposals and ideas over the past few days and will get a better sense of where things stand over the next couple of days.
The Senate could begin debate on gun legislation as early as this week.
Obama was to make another pitch for his gun control agenda on Monday afternoon in Connecticut, not far from the town of Newtown where a December school massacre jolted the nation and prompted current efforts in Washington for stricter gun laws.
The working proposal between Manchin and Toomey would require background checks as well as make sellers keep a sales record.
Many law enforcement groups and gun control advocates view record keeping as critical to ensuring the check is enforceable and a weapon is traceable in case of a crime.
Senior Democratic aides and sources from outside groups pushing for tighter gun restrictions acknowledge that this approach is less expansive than what they want.
But they believe it would produce a better result than the other prominent negotiating track underway – requiring background checks in virtually all cases of private sales, but not mandating that records of those sales and checks be saved.