Sen. Schumer: Universal background checks are ‘sweet spot’ for gun safety

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday voiced optimism that Congress could pass legislation that would implement universal background checks on firearm purchasers, calling it "the sweet spot."

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Schumer said he is the author of a bill on universal background checks and predicted that "in the next week or two" lawmakers would show broad support for such a measure.

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"I'd say this is the sweet spot in terms of actually making us safer and having a good chance of passing. This is it," Schumer said.

"I think this is the best chance we have of getting something done and I think you're going to have much broader support than you'd ever imagine," he added.

One of the proposals in the sweeping gun-violence reduction plan that President Obama unveiled this week calls for implementing universal background checks on all firearm purchasers.

The president also called on Congress to give the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) $10 million to study gun violence, and possible links to video games and media images. In the meantime, Obama plans to issue a presidential memorandum that will direct the CDC and scientific agencies to study the causes of gun violence and how to reduce it.

Since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, the video game and entertainment industries have come under scrutiny from lawmakers and the National Rifle Association (NRA) for producing violent content.

When asked whether Obama would let his Hollywood supporters off the hook in his gun-violence plan, Schumer disagreed.

"I don't think that's fair. The president has talked about generally dealing with violence in our society. I agree with that," Schumer said. "But to take guns off the table, you know to not talk about guns when it comes to gun violence is to not talk about smoking when it comes to lung cancer. It just doesn't make any sense."

Schumer also insisted that the Senate would pass a budget this year, something the upper chamber has not done in nearly four years. He said the budget the Senate intends to pass will include tax reform and revenues measures in it.

"We're going to do a budget this year and it's going to have revenues in it and our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact," he said.

This post was updated at 12:07 p.m.