Bipartisan support is evident for universal background checks, stricter laws against gun trafficking, and limits on high-capacity magazines. But consensus in the GOP-controlled House will depend on what the Senate accomplishes.
Are specific gun-control measures beginning to build momentum in Congress? Key lawmakers in recent comments have indicated that’s the case. For instance, Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona on Sunday said many senators are lining up behind a bipartisan plan whose centerpiece is an expansion of background checks on gun purchasers.
Background checks have long been seen as a sweet spot in the gun debate that could draw both Republican and Democratic votes, but McCain’s tacit endorsement is still a “key moment,” writes liberal-leaning Greg Sargent in his Plum Line Washington Post blog.
The bipartisan group that’s pulling the plan together includes Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a key pro-gun Democrat, and conservative GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Mr. Sargent notes. It would include expanded sharing of data on mental illness and likely have some sort of provision ensuring that the checks don’t lead to a national registry of gun owners.