Dem senator: 'Super close' on bipartisan deal on guns

Dem senator: 'Super close' on bipartisan deal on guns
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Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy Full interview: Chris Murphy speaks out on the Trump-Putin meeting and what it means Dem senator: NATO has become 'functionally obsolete' under Trump MORE (D-Conn.) said on Wednesday that senators are nearing a bipartisan deal on gun legislation following a number of high-profile mass shootings.

Murphy's office pointed The Hill to comments made last week by Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials MORE (R-Texas), who said that he would talk to Democrats about strengthening background checks – an initiative that gained some bipartisan momentum earlier this month after a gunman opened fire on a church in southern Texas, killing 26 people.

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It was revealed shortly after the attack that the gunman, 26-year-old Devin Kelley, was able to slip through the system and purchase firearms, despite a known history of violence.

Cornyn has been a driving force in the GOP for strengthening background checks since the Nov. 5 shooting. He told reporters last week that he would work with Democrats to close gaps in the system, and that he had spoke to Murphy, as well as Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenErnst: Intelligence agencies should question Trump’s interpreter, not Congress Overnight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M Top Dem lawmaker pushing committee for closed-door debrief with Trump’s interpreter MORE (D-N.H.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichCNN congressional correspondent talks about her early love of trolls and family Overnight Energy: DNC to reject fossil fuel donations | Regulators see no security risk in coal plant closures | Senate committee rejects Trump EPA, Interior budgets Energy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures MORE (D-N.M.) about the matter.

Kelley was convicted of domestic abuse in a court-martial in 2012, while he was serving in the Air Force. He was sentenced to a year in confinement and a bad conduct discharge.

But the Air Force never reported the conviction to the FBI's criminal database, which is used to conduct background checks for firearm purchases. Had it been reported, Kelley would have been barred from buying guns.

Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after carrying out the attack on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 people dead and more than a dozen others injured.

The Texas shooting came just over a month after the massacre in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, which left 58 people dead and more than 525 wounded.

Updated at 2:32 p.m.