On expanding background checks to cover not only licensed sales from gun dealers but the sizable chunk of gun sales from private sellers that do not require such checks, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) of New York said he was having “productive conversations with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including a good number with high NRA ratings” in pursuit of a bill. Senator Schumer offered his hope that those conversations were “close" to legislative language.
At Wednesday's hearing, Leahy proposed marking up whatever legislation emerges next month, then taking it to the floor for a vote shortly thereafter.
While Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California and Sen. Al Franken (D) of Minnesota, openly backed a ban on the sale or transfer of certain high-powered weapons and limits on high-magazine capacity, many other key Democrats placed little to no emphasis on the subject.
Leahy, for example, discussed background checks and tougher gun trafficking penalties but left out any mention of a ban on assault weapons at the hearing.