Private sales emerge as obstacle to Senate action on guns

Private sales emerge as obstacle to Senate action on guns
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, right, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, left, departs after speaking about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington. Dource: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: Democratic Congressmen are trying to pass the first major gun control legislation in more than twenty years with the support of President Joe Biden, a Democrat, who said on Thursday that it is “long past time” to do so. But Democrats in the US Congress are confronting a potentially insurmountable question over what rules should govern private gun sales and transfers, including those between friends and extended family, as they seek Republican votes.

Eight years ago, a bipartisan Senate compromise was narrowly defeated, which was focused on expanding checks to sales at gun shows and on the internet.

But many gun control advocates and Democrats now want almost all transfers and private sales to face a mandatory review, alienating Republicans who say extending the requirements would trample Second Amendment rights.

The dispute has been one of several barriers and hurdles in the renewed push for gun-control legislation, despite wide support for extending the checks.

In the wake of recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Colorado, a small group of senators have engaged in tentative talks, hoping to build on bipartisan proposals from the past.

But support from at least 10 Republican senators will be needed to get a bill through the Senate, and most are intractably opposed.

Chris Murphy, the senator from Connecticut and the lead Democratic negotiator on guns, said he has been on the phone with Republican colleagues every day “making the case, cajoling, asking my friends to keep an open mind.”

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