WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will introduce gun control legislation Thursday night that includes a proposal for universal background checks.
“Later tonight, I will start the process of bringing a bill to reduce gun violence to the Senate floor,” Reid said in a statement. “This bill will include the provisions on background checks, school safety and gun trafficking reported by the Judiciary Committee. I hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed. If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill. But I want to be clear: in order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks.”
The news will cheer up gun control advocates who were left despondent when Reid announced the baseline bill would not include a ban on assault weapons. That measure, which is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), will be considered as an amendment, diminishing its chances of ending up in the final bill produced by the Senate. A provision that would ban the production and sale of high-capacity magazines will also be considered as an amendment.
“The bill I advance tonight will serve as the basis for opening debate. Once debate begins, I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes, along with other amendments,” Reid said. “In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do.”