(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.
The way this background check is written if I want to let my buddy shoot my gun at the public unsupervised range I frequent, some sort of check would have to take place first. Even though he would only be using it for a few minutes and I would be standing right behind him.
How many members of Congress fell over each other trying to tell us how they would work for new gun laws? How many backed down?
How many times have we seen the NRA spokesperson giving the NRA's answer to gun violence? How many years have we heard the exact same message from the NRA? How many members were given campaign donations form the NRA and now are voting with the NRA?
Is Harry the "designated TRAITOR"
Much anticipated? LOL, only liberals are fascinated with taking away peoples 2nd amendment rights....
Next they will want to take away 1st amendment rights...
This will be a very watered down bill, but the right wing nuts will still go crazy over it!
Looks like the poor and overtaxed to support the salaries of the wealthy will meet on the battlefield. I believe it will finally put the war at the doorsteps of the greedy. What will happen when the poor grow their food! They will have food and not the rich!
I believe it is time to separate!
Universal background checks? Why not prosecute the people who lie about felony records on the application? It's a felony for a convicted felon to even handle a firearm. We have laws. The application is rejected, but they they have committed two felonies and the police aren't even notified by NICS/FBI.
What about a background check on the guns so a gun dealer can find out if a gun is stolen? There are crimes being committed that go undetected. Detecting them and charging those responsible will do more to create a safer world.
it's a good start. but if we want assault weapons to be banned for general possession, we need to stop electing lawmakers who love guns more than children. every position the 'right' takes hurts this country in many ways. time to stop suffering these self-inflicted wounds from the greedy, ignorant, haters.
Thank you NRA for fighting for the rights of those that cannot go to DC to do it ourselves.
I keep hearing them say, ‘we deserve to at lease have a discussion, we want to have a discussion.’ Every time you try to have a discussion with them, they become hysterical, they cry and they want to show pictures of dead children as if our position is ‘oh, we don’t mind a few dead children.’ No! Our position is, concealed carry would’ve stopped these slaughters and we have the statistics and the studies to back it up. -Ann Coulter
Among the problems with background checks is that Chuck Schumer can't be trusted not to turn requests for backgrounds checks into a national database of gunowners.
Well, well, well...
Then why should I have to show ID to buy alcohol? Or pick up certain prescription drugs? Or use my own credit cards?
Seriously, I just love how these people pick and choose their battles...NOT!
Exactly how does this get the guns out of the hands of gang bangers, drug dealers and violent criminals?
We are talking about United States Congressmen and United States Senators. The ARA assumes they can intimidate the majority of them – a sad commentary. I don't think they will. I think our men and women of high office will take that bull by the horns, as they say, dog them to the ground, and then do the right thing
Hey. I will be very happy to submit to a universal criminal AND mental health background check. Again. And again. And as many times as it takes to make sure that people who CAN'T pass it DON'T have access to weapons. K? So what's the problem?
What part of "shall not be infringed" do these people understand? What part of "criminals won't obey the law and get background checks" don't they understand? "Gun control" is more about "control" and much less about guns.
What a farce.....NOTHING in this bill contains ANYTHING to deal with the REAL issues at hand. Why is America both morally bankrupt and mentally out of touch with society & reality? Why are we producing and I said "producing" a young generation of mass murderers....who by the way are cowards for they simply pray on people unable to defend themselves and when forcefully confronted then immediately kill themselves. Core questions people, core issues...none of which are addressed by any of this.....just a prarade.....
Force the right wing gun advocates in congress to cast an up or down vote on the legislation. Let the American people see where these politicians stand on the issue of a safer United States for us Americans and our love ones. Just this past weekend I was traveling southbound on US 95 about two miles outside of Bridgeport Connecticut on way towards NYC, and as I looked up to my left, I saw a very large billboard sign that sent chills through my spine and made me weep. This sign could be seen from a distance and it read "We are Sandy Hook, We choose love." It was such an eerie feeling that numbs the soul and a graphic reminder of the chilling tales of the horrific tragedy that took place in that sleepy little Connecticut town. I would like to challenge Mr. LaPierre and all the gun advocates in America to go on a ride along this route and take a look at that billboard sign and see if it don't do something to you or compel you to act. I challenge you.
"WOW" Do nothing Reid after 4 years is going to stick his neck out a tad.
The NRA is always accusing gun control advocates of trying to take away their rights to gun ownership. Time to make their accusation a reality. Repeal the Second Amendment and pass strict gun ownership laws.
I do not care what the NRA thinks. We should have an assault weapons ban and anyone who possesses one should have to surrender it or go to jail. There is no good reason for anyone to have them.
On Gun Registration!
"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation
has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient,
and the world will follow our lead into the future"!
Adolph Hitler, 1935, on The Weapons Act of Nazi Germany
When every citizen has to report every gun transaction it will become very easy to just confiscate the weapons. Hooray universal background checks. 2nd amendment was meant to allow the citizens retaliation against the government if needed. So it only makes since to give the government the power to control the second amendment doesn't it?
I challenge all the members of the US Congress, Senate, and White House to give up their armed guards, grand mansions with high tech security systems, free health care, bulging bank accounts, and fancy life styles for six months. Live like the rest of us. Then maybe just maybe they will have a clue what real Americans deal with. Stop looking at numbers and actually be an average American. Make some of the same day to day decisions and sacrifices that the rest of us do. That will be the next President that I will vote for. That will be the candidate that I will support 100%. Lead by example not from the back of a podium. Lead with common sense. Remove the blinders that greed has put over your eyes and give Americans a candidate that we can be proud of.