Dem chief of gun task force predicts bipartisan backing for background checks, magazine ban

{mosads}Speaking at the Center for American Progress on Monday, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), the chairman of a congressional task force on gun prevention, said he could see both Republicans and Democrats supporting legislation on extended bullet magazines and background checks. 

“I think we’re going to see bipartisan support for a few things in this comprehensive effort,” Thompson said. “I think you’ll see bipartisan support for prosecution of existing laws. You’ll see bipartisan support for infrastructure and improvements in schools and probably school safety.”

Thompson’s comments come at the beginning of a week in which Vice President Biden is expected to present recommendations from his gun task force to President Obama. Obama has said once he plans to take action to implement new gun policies shortly after he receives Biden’s recommendations.

Both Biden’s task force and Thompson’s were created in the wake of a shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. The shooting resulted in 27 dead, including 20 children. Since the massacre, a number of legislators, including some with “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association, have called for action to prevent future massacres. 

“You’ll see, I think, bipartisan support [on new legislation] on the assault magazines,” Thompson continued. “You’ll see bipartisan support for the background checks. Those are the things that … I believe that middle ground folks will be okay with.”

Thompson’s comments came during a joint appearance with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D). Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was also scheduled to appear at the event, was absent. Emanuel, formerly Obama’s chief of staff, said he thinks any new gun-control legislation should start in the Senate.

“Whatever you do start in the U.S. Senate,” Emanuel said, “get it done there and then clear the decks and put the ultimate pressure on the House.”

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