Sen. Durbin says universal background checks proposal 'has the best chance' of becoming law

Durbin was asked on Tuesday about the likelihood of Congress passing legislation creating universal background checks for gun purchasers. His comments come as lawmakers consider a number of proposals to reduce gun violence in the aftermath of a shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December that resulted in 28 dead.

"I think it's the one proposal that has the best chance because hunters and sportsman — people who own a gun to protect homes and themselves, they agree," Durbin said in an interview with local radio station WDWS-AM. "We don't want to to sell firearms to criminals and fugitives, those who are under a domestic violence restraining order or people who are mentally unstable. The only way to do our best to keep our guns out of the hands of those folks is to have a universal background check.

"It's the folks that have something to hide or shouldn't own a firearm that we've got to go after," Durbin said.

Since the shooting massacre lawmakers have proposed a number of methods for reducing gun violence. Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinMeet the man who sparked the Democratic revolt on guns Post Orlando, hawks make a power play Ryan: No plans to vote on Democratic gun bills after sit-in MORE (D-Calif.) is seeking to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004. But Republican legislators and some Democrats have expressed opposition to that proposal.

Meanwhile, Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: I haven't seen 'self-discipline' from Trump McCain: No third-party foes coming for Trump Tough choice for vulnerable GOP senators: Embrace or reject Trump MORE (R-Okla.), Mark KirkMark KirkDuckworth settles retaliation lawsuit The Trail 2016: Berning embers Senate Dems link court fight to Congressional Baseball Game MORE (R-Ill.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA 14 dead in West Virginia flooding Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote MORE (D-W.Va.) and Charles SchumerCharles SchumerGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA This week: Senate showdown over gun control Dems push vulnerable GOP senators on gun control MORE (D-N.Y.) are working on a compromise for background checks for gun sales. Manchin, who, after the Newtown shooting, quickly called for federal action to reduce gun violence, opposes an assault weapons ban.

Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Long past time to fix evidence-sharing across borders Obama's great internet giveaway MORE (R-Nev.) recently called background checks a "reasonable step forward."

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