Gun Control to Get Reality Check on Capitol Hill Next Month

A Senate bill dropping in April will test lawmakers' commitment to reform.

Posted: 03/22/2013 11:09 AM EDT
Sen. Harry Reid

Senate lawmakers have some thinking to do during their Easter recess. Will they vote for or against a gun control bill that Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring to the floor when they return on April 8?

The bill includes a proposal for universal background checks, which Republicans and even some Democrats oppose. It also boosts penalties for gun trafficking.

“I hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed,” Reid said in a written statement Thursday. “If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill. But I want to be clear: in order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks.”

What it won't include is an assault weapons ban, another source of major contention between lawmakers. The provision was dropped from the bill earlier this week because it would have killed the whole package. Instead, it will be offered as an amendment.

“Once debate begins, I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes, along with other amendments. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do,” Reid said.


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(Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

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