Nevertheless, Democrats hope that they can wrangle enough support. President Obama made new gun control measures a priority of his second term after last year's Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that a new firearms bill needed to expand background checks.
“I want to be clear: In order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks,” he said.
— Alexander Bolton contributed to this report.