Reid Readies Gun Bill With Background Checks Senate will take it up early next month By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 21, 2013 6:16 PM CDT 49 comments Comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill on March 5. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – He put the kibosh on an assault-weapons ban, but Harry Reid insisted today that any gun legislation taken up by the Senate will include universal background checks, reports the Hill. Reid confirmed that he will allow measures to restrict assault weapons and high-capacity ammo magazines to be voted on only as amendments to the main package, all but ensuring their defeat, reports Politico. That will leave background checks as the big-ticket item in the legislation, which also will include tougher laws on gun trafficking and measures to beef up school safety. The language dealing with the background checks remains up in the air. A bipartisan group of senators is working on a compromise that stands a chance of passing the full Senate, with the main sticking point revolving around how to keep records from private sales, reports the Washington Post. Reid began the process tonight of getting the gun legislation moving, and senators will take it up in early April upon returning from their recess.