Sources: Bipartisan senators making progress on gun background check legislation
February 7th, 2013
05:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Sources: Bipartisan senators making progress on gun background check legislation

Washington (CNN) – A group of four senators working behind the scenes on a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales is making significant progress, according to sources in both parties familiar with their work.

The group includes Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, who has an A rating with the National Rifle Association, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, a long time advocate of gun rights, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a long time supporter of gun control.

CNN is told the legislation they are working on would effectively require background checks on private gun purchases made with non-licensed gun dealers, according to sources in both parties. That would include closing the so-called gun show loophole.

However, the sources emphasize they are trying to work through this sticky issue so that Republicans, especially Coburn, are comfortable that it would address privacy concerns of gun owners, and would have clear exemptions for situations where a background check should not be needed. The most common example of that scenario is a grandfather or uncle giving guns they already own to a grandson or nephew.

The senators are also talking about finding ways to beef up the existing federal data base for background checks. The current system has significant holes and problems, not the least of which is that many states do not send data into the system.

If the group can come up with a bipartisan proposal, it would become the most likely legislation related to gun violence to pass the Senate, mostly because Coburn – with his bone fides as a supporter of gun rights – will give political cover to Republicans as well as conservative Democrats who may be reluctant to sign on for fear of getting hammered by the NRA and gun owners back home.

One of the sources said the talks are going better than many bipartisan talks on any issue have gone in some time, but the source emphasized that they still have work to do before a bill will be ready to be unveiled.

These talks are going on as the Senate Judiciary chairman is holding hearings and working towards finding common ground on gun legislation that he can bring for a vote in his committee sometime within the next month.

Filed under: Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. nothing new here

    Today, I had to show ID to pick up a prescription med that has legally been prescribed to me, by my doctor.
    So, if I have to show ID for medications, then potential gun buyers should be doing the same.
    Same with voting, driving a car, buying cigarettes and alcohol. I have to prove something to someone, on a regular basis.
    Background checks and ID – either do it right, or don't do it at all. But don't expect the rest of us taxpayers to keep putting up with this whining.

    February 7, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Enter demagogues, stage right, screeching about the privacy of "law abiding gun owners" while demanding trans-hoohoo ultrasounds and trying to prohibit the private marital contracts of loving adults from being recognized solely because of the genders of the spouses. Who is it trying to push big scary gov't into our personal lives again?

    Heck, the GOP/Teatrolls are literally trying to push big scary government straight up our babymakers.

    February 7, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Gun control is needed.

    February 7, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. rs

    This makes sense. Everyone buying a gun should undergo a stenuous background check. NRA members agree, the American public agrees.

    To those who argue the next step is registration, perhaps it is. I sign to register my car, my house, for perscriptions, to turn in waste oil and more. As to the "they'll use registrations to take my weapons" crowd- yeah that happens every day-not!

    February 7, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. Larry L

    I took a driver's education course, passed a written test and a driving test to get my license. Every few years I renew my license after an eye exam. Our state has rigorous rules for operation and if I get tickets, I could have it suspended or revoked. If I drive drunk I go to jail. My car has a safety inspection every year, a license plate, a registration number, mandatory insurance, and national standards followed by manufactures collision safety.

    To legally own & operate a semi-auto w/ratcheted trigger, easily replaceable 30-round magazines, armor-piercing bullets, and night-vision optics I must give the private individual walking around the gun show cash and walk away. Hmmm...

    February 7, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. A Kickin` Donkey

    Which senators have stood in the way of prior efforts to confirm an ATF Director? Who is on President Obama`s short list to fill this role?

    I challenge responsible journalism to shed some light around this topic.

    February 7, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Greg

    Is an uncle not going to give a gun to a nephew because the nephew has been convicted of domestic violence or has a restraining order issued? These are things that trigger a NO on a background check. Every gun transaction needs to have a background check.

    February 7, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Deb

    Ever intrusive government. Good luck stopping private sales. I can't imagine meeting a person you do not know to buy a gun but friends trade and purchase amongst themselves all the time. There is even listings at the gun range of people that are selling. I don't care either way but its a HUGE market. Liberals have provided the best marketing for the gun business in years. I have girl friends who tell me they bought one or gave their husband the green light to buy a gun that might be prohibited.

    February 7, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma is no pushover , he knows the gun laws are insane .

    He's a Doctor .

    February 7, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. btlprod

    This does nothing to reduce gun crime. Nothing to remove guns from Criminals. Nothing to prevent another Virginia Tech, Columbine, Aurora or Sandy Hook. All it does is restrict law abiding citizens from disposing of their property.

    The Senate needs to get back to work on that crap they kicked down the road instead of wasting the time of the Tax Payers with this feel good, do nothing nonsense.

    February 7, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. Hugo

    I sure am glad they are working on that dang old gun control for law abiding citizen's instead of focusing on a balanced budget, the 16.5 trillion in National debt, the negligence of Benghazi, the Obama and Holders illegal gun running operations and/or the Obama drone kill lists...whew, I can sleep tonight knowing I am safe!

    February 7, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. Concerned citizen

    You want to have a gun? Fine, pay insurance; first something like "Liability insurance"!

    February 7, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. Ferathka

    BiPartisan. Oh gawd forbid. Republicans will not allow this to happen!

    February 7, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  14. Ancient Texan

    The criminals will be first in line to supply all the information the government wants to undermine the second admendment, you can bet on it.

    February 7, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't know why people wouldn't want to know where the gun has gone. If you can figure out the link as to where the weapon went, then we have a problem pointing the blame at who let it get in the hands of a criminal.

    February 7, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. Getoverit


    Enter demagogues, stage right, screeching about the privacy of “law abiding gun owners” while demanding trans-hoohoo ultrasounds and trying to prohibit the private marital contracts of loving adults from being recognized solely because of the genders of the spouses.
    But you can still vote without proper ID.

    February 8, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  17. JD any of you support showing id to vote? no? then youre hypocrites.

    February 8, 2013 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    The NRA is per se not as powerful as often portrayed by CNN. Current responsible gun owners and vox populi mostly agree with an assault ( military) or assault type weapons ban ( limiting magazine size, this gives the good guy gun owner a chance to down the villain or crazy shooter.) and the effective background checks addition laws re loopholes. Those state not complying with sendain data to the data base to help take weapons away from criminals and the mentally unstable need to properly and effectively enforced along witht the additional legislation. California leads the way on checking people with so called " legal guns" and cross checking to the criminal databeses and then collecting such guns.
    The NRA issue is not one that will damage Republican support or Democratic support for candidate who are in favor of reasonable gun laws while still saying as they can that the 2nd amendment right will be upheld by them reasonably, but not be a supporter of the extreme right gun lobby or the extreme left opposing gun lobby.WE need to reduce th frequency of multiple asssassination by taking fire power away from criminals and the mentally unstable.

    February 8, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  19. Chris

    First, they say "Guns aren't the problem – people are the problem."

    Then, when you try to require some kind of background check to separate out the problem people – they throw a fit.

    February 8, 2013 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  20. Marie MD

    We have to show ID almost everywhere we go and for many things that we buy and I don't understand why it's so hard to understand that if you are buying a gun or ammunition you should do the same.
    This is neither here or there but I was watching The Following (Kevin Bacon) on Monday and the "bad" guys are teaching a little boy to kill bugs and even a mouse. I don't see much difference between that and teaching your young child to kill animals because it's a "tradition".

    February 8, 2013 06:38 am at 6:38 am |