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The Quiet Advancement of Gun Control Legislation in Washington


Over two months since the horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and national gun cuntrol measures are still moving slowly but surely in Washington.

Vice President Joe Biden has headed the Obama administration's efforts on the issue and met with retired military leaders today, before a vote on the assault weapons ban with the Senate Judiciary committee possibly this week. On background checks, a bipartisan group of Senators including Tom Coburn, Joe Manchin, Chuck Schumer and Mark Kirk are reportedly close to a deal, but according to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, are caught up on a provision concerning guns sold in rural or remote areas.

The Senators have agreed on a key provision: How background checks would be expanded to most private sales. The way it would work is that in most cases, if you want to sell me a gun, you and I would go to a federally licensed dealer, who would run the check for a fee and okay the sale. In that case, a record of the sale would be kept by the gun store — which is already how it works for existing background checks. Coburn, according to the sources, does not have a problem with this.

However, Coburn wants private buyers and sellers in remote areas (how this would be defined is not yet clear) to be able to remotely get federal dealers to run the background check, via an internet portal.

Coburn's concerns relate to fears conservatives have had for some time relating to broadening background check procedures opening the door for a federal gun registry. On 'Real News' Tuesday the panel discussed with radio host Cam Edwards the quiet gains the gun control lobby has made in the last few weeks:

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