President Obama and the advocates for increased federal gun control are coming to the end of their big Easter recess effort to build support for a tougher background check bill, and the results don’t look promising. Obama returned Thursday from a Western trip that included a stop in Colorado, where he reminded listeners of the Aurora and Columbine killings. Obama applauded Colorado’s recent gun control legislation, which he said showed “that practical progress is possible by enacting tougher background checks that won’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.” On Monday, he heads to Connecticut where he will make his closing arguments.
But Democratic sources tell TIME that the tough background check bill that emerged from the Judiciary Committee March 12, doesn’t appear to have the votes to overcome a filibuster when it comes to the Senate floor in the next week or two, let alone get through the Republican controlled House. The push by Obama and his allies, including a $12 million ad buy by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, appears only to have highlighted the fact that any bill that includes paper records for all private sales can’t pass Congress.