Yahoo News reports
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Thursday that to be effective any gun-control bill that passes his chamber must include universal background checks, an embattled centerpiece of the White House's bid to curb gun violence.
Reid voiced hope that an elusive bipartisan deal can soon be reached to require virtually all firearm purchasers to be screened for criminal records and possible mental health problems.
Republicans have voiced concerns that a proposed record-keeping provision in private sales could lead to registration, something that gun-rights groups have long opposed.
But Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said in a statement: "In order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks."
Federally registered gun dealers are required to conduct such background checks, but about 40 percent of guns are purchased from private sellers who have no such obligation.
Earlier this week, Reid acknowledged that there is not enough support in the Senate to pass another key part of Obama's drive to curb gun violence - a proposed renewal of a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons.
I'd be quite pleased if the AWB failed as long as universal background checks became law. After that another bill to address the high-capacity magazines would make it just about perfect.
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