Blumenthal sees ‘common ground’ for background checks deal

“It has to be done on a bipartisan basis,” he added. “We will need Republican votes to break the filibuster that is threatened.”

A report in The Washington Post late Sunday said Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) were spearheading talks on reaching an accord after previous efforts at a bipartisan deal to expand checks on gun buyers faltered.

Blumenthal hailed the two as “very credible and experienced senators.”

A Senate gun bill includes Democratic language crafted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on expanding background checks, but Schumer was unable to win GOP support. 

The Toomey, Manchin proposal, still in talks, would expand checks to all gun-show and online sales, but would exempt family members and some hunters. Those measures could draw Republican support ahead of a tough fight to pass gun control in the Senate and GOP-controlled House.

A number of GOP senators have said they will oppose any efforts they view as infringing on the Second Amendment.

Blumenthal suggested that Democrats could back a more limited background check bill to help pass gun control.

“Where there are sufficient limitations, it may be possible to gain common ground among all the supporters of gun-safety measures,” he said. 

Blumenthal also hailed the new tough gun laws signed by his state’s governor last week in response to the December mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., calling them a “model” for the country.

President Obama, who has hit the road to push lawmakers on gun control, will speak in Hartford, Conn., Monday. 

Blumenthal predicted Obama, who has appeared at events with families of victims of gun violence would be “very powerful in moving the debate forward."