A quiet bipartisan effort on gun background checks may have a path to a deal

A quiet bipartisan effort on gun background checks may have a path to a deal

WASHINGTON — After years of failed attempts to pass a firearms background check bill, two senators think they have a path to agreement — at least on one key component of a deal. Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, have been quietly negotiating a way to bolster background check rules by making a small but consequential tweak to current law, which they say would close an unintended loophole in the system that has led to preventable mass shootings. House-passed legislation to require background checks on nearly all gun purchases has stalled in the Senate. But Murphy and Cornyn, who have been negotiating behind closed doors with little fanfare, believe they may have a formula that can attract broad support from both parties. Specifically, they want to clarify who is required to register as a federal firearms licensee, or FFL, and thus conduct FBI checks on a buyer before selling a gun. The senators say an ambiguity in the law has enabled unlicensed sellers to transfer weapons to dangerous people who skirt the background check system. Cornyn said in an interview that Congress always intended to require anybody “in the business of selling firearms” to register as a licensee, but that the lack of a clear definition in the statute is allowing some buyers and sellers to evade that rule. A gun shop employee shows guns to customers at SP Firearms Unlimited in Franklin Square, New York on August 6, 2021.Mike Pont / Getty Images file “We need […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.