“Having Coburn and Manchin bless such a proposal would give it a major boost, even among GOP lawmakers inclined to robotically do whatever the NRA [National Rifle Association] tells them to do,” he writes.
This doesn’t mean the plan is tied up with ribbon and a bow; another member of the bipartisan effort, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) of New York, added on Sunday that the group has made good progress but still has some hard issues to resolve.
“Guns [are] a very difficult issue,” said Senator Schumer on CNN’s "State of the Union."
Asked whether a ban on assault weapons would be included in the Senate’s package, Schumer side-stepped the issue. He noted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California has introduced legislation to prohibit such military-style firearms and said that her bill will get a vote on the Senate floor.
“Whether it’s part of our bill, we’ve been focusing on universal background checks, where I think there’s a greater chance to come to a bipartisan agreement,” said Schumer.
(Currently, federal law requires background checks only for customers of federally licensed firearm dealers. They aren’t required for private transactions, many of which occur at gun shows. Some states have more stringent check requirements of their own.)
Another gun provision the Senate might be able to pass is a new federal law against firearms trafficking. In essence, this would give prosecutors another way to go after those who legally purchase guns and then pass them to others who use them to commit crimes.