Background check bills get traction on the Hill
From GOPUSA: A bipartisan coalition of senators is working on a proposal to strengthen and expand background checks for potential gun purchasers in an attempt to break the partisan gridlock holding up regulations on gun ownership. Members of the group, which includes Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois and Democrats Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, declined to discuss specifics of the talks or of a potential bill. Coburn spelled out what he wants in any bill. He said laws need to be updated to ensure guns stay out of the hands of "people that are a danger to themselves and other people."
"I believe the mentally ill should never be able to get a gun. I believe criminals should never be able to get a gun," he said.
The nation must improve the system to encourage states to report the mentally ill and install protections for doctors to enable them to report patients who are "obviously psychotic" to prohibit them from buying guns, Coburn said.
Manchin said the senators "are just talking to everybody, that's all. Everybody's just trying to work together to find some common-sense movement."
Last weekend, Manchin told a West Virginia radio station he was working with Democratic and Republican senators, as well as the National Rifle Association, on something gun rights supporters could back. Such a bill "basically says that if you're going to be a gun owner, you should be able to pass a background check," Manchin said.
Schumer called universal background checks "the sweet spot" and predicted bipartisan support on the issue during an appearance Jan. 20 on NBC's Meet the Press.