WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will include a requirement for expanded background checks for firearms buyers in a gun control bill the Senate debates next month.
The Huffington Post reported Reid would introduce “universal background checks.”
The Nevada Democrat says he hopes that during Congress’ upcoming two-week break, senators will reach compromise on background check language with bipartisan support.
If not, Reid says in a statement that the Senate will vote on a stricter measure expanding the checks to virtually all private gun transactions, with few exceptions.
President Barack Obama and many gun control advocates consider an expansion of background checks the strongest step lawmakers could take to reduce firearms violence.
Opponents say the system is easily sidestepped by criminals and threatens creation of a government file on gun owners – which is illegal under federal law.
Reid’s announcement is certain to buoy gun control supporters after a proposed assault weapons ban was stripped from the main bill earlier this week.
Reid vowed that a ban on assault weapons and limits on ammunition magazines would be voted on in the Senate.