House GOP Takes Alternate Gun Bill Path

Posted: Apr 15, 2013 9:10 AM

As the Senate moves toward a comprehensive gun control bill that would include extensive background checks that would threaten the legality of private transactions, House Republicans are taking a different tack on a gun bill:

House Republicans' focus on mentally ill criminals has become sharper in recent days, as a bipartisan plan to expand background checks on prospective gun buyers gained momentum in the Democrat-led Senate - thanks in part to emotional calls for action in Washington by family members of victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.

Boehner has pledged that the House will act on any gun bill that emerges from the Senate. He has indicated that the House's review would allow a lengthy debate without many of the deadlines and restrictions that usually guide the chamber's work.

Several House Republicans think that by focusing on preventing gun violence by the mentally ill, they could back a winning issue - one with broad bipartisan support that is likely to make it through the legislative gauntlet - without compromising their strongly held support of gun owners' rights.

The Senate will have two days of debate on their gun control and is expected to vote on Tuesday. As indicated above, Speaker Boehner will attempt action on whatever comes out of the Senate - and it will remain to be seen if Senate Democrats, if they do pass a gun control bill, will accept changes made by Republicans.

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