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 MurphyHobbled NRA shows strength with Trump Overnight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals 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 CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges 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 ShaheenSunday shows - Recession fears dominate Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel MORE (D-N.H.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador Senate committee advances nomination of general accused of sexual assault House passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards 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.