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The latest Quinnipiac Poll shows continuing support for new gun-control measures.
The four-member ad hoc Senate committee putting together a bipartisan bill to implement universal background checks on gun purchasers has failed. That could mean that passing gun legislation that poll after poll has shown close to or more than 90 percent of Americans favor could be in trouble. The latest poll from Quinnipiac puts the figure at 88 percent. Mark-up on four pieces of new gun legislation is taking place in the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. You can watch here.

One of the four negotiating a compromise on background checks, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, would not agree to a key concern of Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York that records be kept of the private sales.

For the National Rifle Association, other gun lobbies and many gun owners, record-keeping is anathema. This would create a registry that could be the first step toward confiscation of guns, they say. But for gun-control advocates, some form of record-keeping is essential or background checks would be unenforceable. Currently, only sales conducted by federally licensed firearms dealers are subject to background checks. Records of sales must be kept by the dealers for 20 years. The new legislation would extend the checks to all or most private sales.

Democrats had figured that getting Coburn on board would be helpful when the vote in the full Senate occurs because he has an "A" rating from the NRA. Thus, during negotiations, committee members had eased the requirement for background checks on sales or other transfers to family members and under some other circumstances, and had made other concessions to gun-rights advocates.

Two other committee members support the compromises made in the negotiations—Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, viewed as the most conservative Democrat now in the Senate and an NRA member, and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. But, instead of going ahead now with still undrafted legislation that includes those compromises that Schumer and others had hoped would be ready for the mark-up today, there will be a placeholder bill on the table. That's Schumer's tougher proposal, the Fix Guns Checks Act of 2011. And neither Manchin or Kirk support it in unmodified form. Meanwhile, all three will attempt to get other Republicans to support the compromise proposal Coburn has rejected.

The Judiciary Committee will also mark up legislation on gun trafficking, an assault weapons ban, funding to help schools better protect students.

8:23 AM PT: The gun trafficking bill has been approved by the Judiciary Committee on an 11-7 vote. Only one Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley, supported it.


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Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 07:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Daily Kos.

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