Cantor Open to Gun Background Checks
Plus, he and Boehner talk illegal immigration
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2013 1:42 PM CST
In this Dec. 21, 2012 file photo, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – A day after President Obama noted that there's bipartisan support for universal background checks before gun purchases, Eric Cantor seems to have confirmed it. The House majority leader tells CNN he's open to strengthening background checks, perhaps by instituting a system similar to what Virginia put in place after the Virginia Tech massacre. "I think that we can take a lot of lessons from what Virginia did and put it in place at the federal level, because there are a lot of states that aren't doing what Virginia is doing to try and beef up the database for the background checks," he said.

Specifically, the Virginia model ensured that background checks would turn up any relevant mental health information. Expanding background checks appears to have more support at this point than banning assault weapons. In the same interview, Cantor said that before he'll consider a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, border security must be increased and a guest worker program must be implemented. Meanwhile, John Boehner declined to take a position on the possibility of such a pathway, reports the Washington Post. "I think this is a very difficult part [for] any of these bills, and I want to just encourage members on both sides of the Capitol and both parties to continue to try to come to some resolution," the House speaker said today.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Smitty6398
Feb 8, 2013 2:18 AM CST
I'm a firearms owner, an NRA member, still shoot now and then. I AM FOR background checks that WILL WORK to keep the weapons out of he hands of criminals and the mentally deficient. Now, having said that, let's see our government propose something that will work, without putting the burden on legitimate, lawful owners of firearms. The fact is that what they've got in place now is NOT working. The brainpower in DC needs to get off their collective @$$e$ and put their rears in gear and keep their nose to the grindstone on this issue. And immigration, and America's financial crisis, and tax reform, and spending reform, and putting the American worker back to work; and of course, the NEXT CAMPAIGN. Get busy and legislate , like we hired you to !!
cornelison
Feb 6, 2013 3:15 PM CST
The whole lot of those baggers have done nothing to help Americans except the richest ones. They all psycho and the folks who voted for them are no better. They're willing to bring down the country & those rich donors are greedy idiots for giving them money.
nym-acct
Feb 6, 2013 12:13 AM CST
Cantor is just going along with the changes Virginia found prudent to make in their background checks post Virginia Tech massacre. I don't understand why some find the idea of weeding out mentally ill lunatics from being able to purchase firearms in the background check stage of a firearms purchase a bad idea. All the Chris Kyle killing showed was such a weeding out process at the background check stage is the *least* the country should be doing.