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 MurphyOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators want info on 'stingray' surveillance in DC | Bills to secure energy infrastructure advance | GOP lawmaker offers cyber deterrence bill Overnight Health Care: GOP pushes stiff work requirements for food stamps | Johnny Isakson opens up about family's tragic loss to opioids | Republicans refuse to back vulnerable Dem's opioids bill | Dems offer new public option plan Dems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting 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 CornynRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes 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 ShaheenSenators pledge to pursue sanctions against Turkey over imprisoned American pastor Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination Menendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat' MORE (D-N.H.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill Senate Intel releases summary of election security report 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.