“They’re close,” said Jim Kessler, a former legislative director to Schumer. “It’s like climbing the summit of Mount Everest, the oxygen gets pretty thin up there,” said Kessler, now senior vice president for policy at Third Way, a Democrat- aligned policy group in Washington.According to Roll Call, Coburn isn't on board with that as he made clear in an appearance on Fox News Sunday.:
“I don’t think we’re that close to a deal, and there absolutely will not be record-keeping on legitimate, law-abiding gun owners in this country,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “And if they want to eliminate the benefits of actually trying to prevent the sales to people who are mentally ill, and the criminals, all they have to do is create a record-keeping, and that will kill this bill.”But then negotiations are often said to be at an impasse one day and resolved the next. The Senate group had sought to introduce legislation this week because the window of opportunity for getting a background check law passed could fade the further away the 12/14 Newtown massacre recedes from public attention. Universal background checks are supported in poll after poll in a range from 83 percent to 92 percent of Americans, including gun owners.
In addition to Schumer and Coburn, two others are in the ad hoc group trying to find common ground on background checks. They are Sen. Joe Manchin III, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia and a member of the National Rifle Association, and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. Schumer himself concedes that the negotiations have been “challenging, as you’d expect on an issue as complicated as guns.”
The sticking point, as Coburn states, is that gun rights advocates see the expansion of background checks as a means to set up a firearms registry that will eventually be used to confiscate guns. That's the argument that NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre reiterated Saturday before a crowd of about 1,200 in Salt Lake City.
"It’s aimed at registering your guns," LaPierre said. "And when another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns."Some gun-control advocates have argued that the current restrictions on record-keeping associated with background checks makes them less effective. The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System is required by law to destroy within 24 hours all records on buyers who pass the checks. That limit used to be 90 days but the gun lobby got it changed on the same grounds as LaPierre, Coburn and others are arguing now.