Hope for Tighter Gun Laws Still Alive in Senate

Two different efforts 'quietly' underway, says NYT

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 26, 2013 4:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – The push for stricter gun laws might not be quite so dead after all in the Senate. The New York Times reports that efforts are "quietly" underway to get something done on background checks and illegal trafficking. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, the co-sponsors of the background-check bill that got yanked last week, say they have been talking to colleagues to get rid of some objectionable loopholes. One potential compromise would allow a person who lives in a rural area to sell a weapon to someone without having to find a sporting goods store to facilitate.

A separate initiative to crack down on illegal trafficking, which includes buying a weapon for someone who can't legally own one, is being spearheaded by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and Republicans Kelly Ayotte and Chuck Grassley. The latter two voted against last week's measure, and Ayotte in particular has been taking criticism back home in New Hampshire. That might get worse: Gun-control supporters are working on a national campaign to put pressure on those in the "no" camp. Meanwhile, a new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania gives Republican Toomey the highest approval ratings he's ever had: 48%, reports Slate.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, D-W.Va., left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., in a photo from April 10.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, D-W.Va., left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., in a photo from April 10.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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