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Gun-safety advocates have been saying they aren't giving up ever since the Senate rejected several changes in the law April 17. There have been hints from various quarters that they mean what they say. Now it's official. In a meeting with law enforcement officers Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden announced that he will be traveling around the country to push for expanded background checks on firearms purchases and for a federal law against gun trafficking:
Biden volunteered that he “hasn’t really discussed” his plans with Obama and plans to lead the gun control charge, according to a person who attended the meeting.
“He was talking like he was going to be leading it, ” the law enforcement official said. “He didn’t mention any other senators in terms of leading the charge.” [...]
“His candid request was for us to tell him what can be done differently,” said Jon Adler, national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. “His sense was not to go back to the drawing board with the same thing that just lost.”
Even as members of the the National Rifle Association gathered victoriously in Houston for the organization's 142nd annual convention, which runs through the weekend, gun-safety advocates have been encouraged since their defeat by poll after poll after poll after poll after poll showing reduced support for senators who voted against the background check compromise crafted by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.
Among the senators who have seen their ratings fall because of their gun votes are Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Democrat Mark Begich also took a hit. All opposed expanding background checks to private sales of firearms at gun shows and over the internet. Meanwhile, Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina have seen their chances of reelection in 2014 improve because they voted for background checks.
There has been some talk of weakening the already watered-down Manchin-Toomey compromise to get more "ayes" in any revote. But Biden told the law enforcement officers that he is not inclined to do that.
Timing for a new effort at getting gun legislation passed is far from settled, but staffers at gun-safety organizations and senatorial aides say nothing is likely to happen before the Senate finishes immigration reform.
Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:26 AM PDT.