(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid formally introduced a much-anticipated gun bill Thursday, his office announced. The Senate is expected to debate the legislation when the upper chamber returns from a two-week recess.
The bill, released just over three months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, is made up of three measures. One measure expands the background check system, while the other two deal with school safety and gun trafficking.
“The bill I advance tonight will serve as the basis for opening debate," Reid, the Senate’s leading Democrat, said in a statement.
Reacting to the news that the Senate will consider a universal background check bill, NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN they are "strongly opposed" to the legislation, which was initially pushed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York.
“We have made our position clear, and we will do whatever we can to defeat it,” Arulanandam said.
The NRA has been running print and television ads in recent weeks against the idea of expanding background checks, and the group is expected to unveil news ads in the coming weeks.
“All options are on the table,” Arulanandam added.
Schumer, however, said in a statement this bill "moves the ball forward on gun safety in the Senate."
Reid will allow votes on amendments related to an assault weapons ban, high-capacity magazines and mental health provisions.
While there are some fierce advocates for the assault weapons ban, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Reid said earlier this week that he didn't believe the measure would get enough support on the floor but promised he would allow a vote through an amendment.
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do," he said.
Vice President Joe Biden, who's been a leading voice from the Obama administration on gun violence, commended Reid via Twitter.
Thanks @SenatorReid for your leadership in ensuring a vote on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and background checks. --VP— Office of VP Biden (@VP) March 21, 2013
Thanks @SenatorReid for your leadership in ensuring a vote on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and background checks. --VP
– CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.
I am a NRA member. I have no problem with background checks. I have a problem with registry. We have laws in the USA to prevent this. They were passes after world war 2 after seeing what happened in Nazi Germany. The government does not need to know what we own.
You need to brush up on your facts. Nazi Germany repealed nearly all weapons bans put in place after World War 1. You're apparently unaware that the US has had a national gun regsitry since the 1930s for automatic weapons, such as machine guns. Not one registered weapon has ever been confiscated through the registy. If anything, the registry guarantees your weapon would not be confiscated because ownership has been authenticated. They treat cars the same way, you know.
I dare to disagree with gun advocates say guns don't kill but people do or that if we ban guns, people would use knives or bombs or even a vehicle to commit a murder. How often do we see mass murders in America committed with a knife or a bomb or a vehicle? And while drunk driving results in casualties and is a big problem in our society, people don't necessarily get drunk for the purpose of going on a deadly rampage like gun nuts do.
Reid is about as dumb a Democrat there is. Now he wants to attack the 2nd Amendment. He will lose.
Jimh77 First you complain about government intrusion, then you complain about the increase in drug ads on TV. They increase because Republican/conservatives eliminated the Federal law preventing drug advertising. They also eliminated Federal regs that prevented non-FDA approved drugs to advertise how much they can approve your life as long as they don't claim to cure any disease.
Guns are not the problem! Mentally ill , and crimianls are the problem. No law is going to stop either of them . I was shot 5 times and left for dead by a crimianl who was already under a firearm disability for a prior felony conviciton. When the police and swt broke down the door thsy found several loaded guns. So for anyone to say that another "LAW" is going to stop criminals and mentally ill pople form getting a gun is just plain stupid. Since then I went to a NRA CCW course and am exercising my second ammendment right to carry a fire arm. I will never be defenseless again.
The vast majority of Americans favor universal background checks. Why should a gun store not be allowed to sell a gun without doing a background check, but a person at a gun show can do so.
The NRA isn't going to be happy until they get an endorsement from Al-Qaeda *after* their next act of domestic terrorism.