Nation/World

Gun bill to include background checks

WASHINGTON – The gun legislation set to hit the Senate floor next month will include universal background checks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Thursday.

Reid had hinted earlier that he might exclude the provision from the bill, as he did with an assault-weapons ban championed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Instead, he introduced a bill that includes background checks, as well as provisions on school safety and gun trafficking.

“In order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks,” he said.

Reid’s announcement came hours after Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg teamed up to try to reinvigorate momentum for gun control legislation, urging Congress to be courageous and saying the political risks of supporting such laws were overblown.

Biden and Bloomberg appeared at New York City Hall with families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Expanding background checks has been the focal point of President Barack Obama’s gun violence prevention initiative. A number of recent surveys found strong public support for requiring background checks for private sales, including those at gun shows and over the Internet.



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