Bill to bolster gun background checks gains enough support to break filibuster

Bill to bolster gun background checks gains enough support to break filibuster
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A bill to bolster the national background check system used for gun purchases crossed a critical milestone this week, getting enough support to break a filibuster and pass the Senate. 

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSuccession at DHS up in the air as Trump set to nominate new head Trying to kick tobacco again This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington MORE's (R-Texas) office noted on Friday that the legislation picked up six more co-sponsors, bringing the total number of supporters to 62. 
 
The boost in support puts it just over the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, a key procedural hurdle, and gives it enough support to potentially be passed by the Senate. 
 
Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens MORE (D-Ore.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine2020 general election debates announced Senators call for Trump administration to testify on Syria Schumer: Transcript 'absolutely validates' Trump impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Va.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerFormer Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Statue of Chief Standing Bear to be unveiled in Capitol MORE (R-Neb.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBiden has a lot at stake in first debate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump turns the page back to Mueller probe Trump praises Thad Cochran: 'A real senator with incredible values' MORE (R-Miss.) and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanVA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides McConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal There is a severe physician shortage and it will only worsen MORE (R-Ark.) are the latest senators to formally sign onto the Fix NICS (National Instant Background Check System) Act. 
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The legislation reinforces existing laws by ensuring that authorities report criminal records to the system and penalizing agencies that don't. 

The effort has been championed after multiple mass shootings where the alleged gunmen were able to purchase firearms despite past charges or warnings about their behavior.

Cornyn hinted on Thursday morning that he was close to securing 60 votes for the legislation, which he introduced late last year with Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBacklash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Administration to give 'top secret' briefing on Syria amid pushback MORE (D-Conn.). 

“I can't tell you how disappointed I am that the United States Senate has done nothing, nothing, to prevent [mass shootings] from happening in the future. We're close to 60 bipartisan co-sponsors," he said from the Senate floor.

Despite having more than 60 votes, it remains unclear when, or if, it will be brought up for a vote. 
 
 
The gun control debate has largely stalled in the Senate after the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting, where 17 people were killed. 
 
Republicans have signaled they want to pass the Fix NICS Act by unanimous consent — allowing it to skip over a formal vote and potentially days of floor time. 
 
But the bill has run into a stumbling block amid a slate of GOP senators who say they have "due process" concerns. 
 
Democrats, while supportive of the legislation, have also said they believe it is too narrow of a response.