Harry Reid

Reid shelves expanded gun-purchase background check legislation

by David Sherfinski-The Washington Times  |  published on April 19, 2013

Senate Democrats shelved their gun control bill Thursday, saying that despite passionate pleas from families whose children died in December’s Connecticut rampage, they cannot muster enough votes to pass any of the major new restrictions they had hoped for.

Instead, advocates said they will step up their public campaign to try to sway opponents in the short term, with an eye to reviving the bill later this year, and also will take a look at campaigning against gun-rights supporters at the ballot box next year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he made the decision to “hit pause” after talking with President Obama.

“This will allow senators to keep negotiating,” said Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, who vowed, “We’re going to come back to this bill.”

But he will have to see a major shift in opinions on Capitol Hill for that to happen.

On Wednesday, 41 Republicans and four Democrats joined together to block a plan to expand background checks to all private Internet and gun show sales. Current law only applies to sales by federally licensed dealers.

The Senate also defeated efforts to ban some semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

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