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 MurphyTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Nadler gets under GOP's skin Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial 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 CornynNadler gets under GOP's skin Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Democrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public 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 Shaheen2020 forecast: A House switch, a slimmer Senate for GOP — and a bigger win for Trump Lewandowski decides against Senate bid Biden would consider Republican for VP 'but I can't think of one right now' MORE (D-N.H.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichDemocratic senator blasts 'draconian' press restrictions during impeachment trial Health care, spending bills fuel busy year for K Street Schumer introduces bill requiring GDP measure inequality 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.