The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung: Gun Debate Not Over

fat ladyWASHINGTON — The debate over guns isn’t over yet.

Supporters – and even opponents – of legislation designed to curb gun violence expect a revised proposal that would expand background checks for firearms sales to return to Congress for a vote later this year, despite a resounding defeat last month.

Vice President Joe Biden, the administration’s point-person on gun control, has renewed a series of meetings with organizations with a vested interest in the issue, from law enforcement officers to religious leaders.

Advocacy groups are pressuring lawmakers they think could be persuaded to change their vote by running ads, packing town halls and signing petitions.

And, perhaps most importantly, senators from both parties are talking privately, seeking small but significant changes to the background check bill to appease critics worried about infringing on privacy and chipping away at the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“We are at a place that would not have been imaginable in the political landscape four months ago,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the nation’s pre-eminent gun control groups. “We haven’t seen anything like this.”

Following the mass shooting in December at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children dead, President Barack Obama pressed Congress to pass the nation’s most aggressive gun control plan in generations.

But the Democratic-controlled Senate fell short of having the votes needed to approve the proposals – expanding background checks, renewing an assault weapons ban and limiting the size of…


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