Even after Democrats in the Senate dropped on major piece of President Barack Obama's gun policy, they are still moving ahead with another major piece.
According to NBC News, on March 21, Senate Democrats announced that they are still moving ahead with background checks for gun buyers before they can purchase a firearm. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement to the media announcing the Senate's intention of pushing through the background checks. He said:
Later (on March 21), I will start the process of bringing a bill to reduce gun violence to the Senate floor. This bill will include the provision on background checks school safety and gun trafficking reported by the Judiciary Committee.
Earlier in the week, Senate Democrats dropped a key provision in their gun control package, the assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban, in the hopes of garnering more Republican support the gun control measure. Republicans have slowing come out in favor of the background checks, but it is still not certain that the measure cans pas the Senate.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is talking to Republicans about supporting the background checks. Manchin is also in talks with the National Rifle Association in an attempt to forge a compromise with the pro-gun lobbying group. Senate Democrats have said that they will support a reasonable compromise.
The assault weapons ban will now be offered an amendment to the broader gun control package, which will require a separate vote. In his statement to the media, Reid mentioned that the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are still a priority for Senate Democrats. He said:
The bill I advance (on March 21) will serve as the basis for opening debate. Once debated 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.
The gun control bill in its current form will require a background check for all potential gun buyers and will also close the "gun show loophole". The bill will also make gun trafficking a federal crime and help schools pay for infrastructure to keep school safe. The latter two provisions have broad bi-partisan support.