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 CornynSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill 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 MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats revive filibuster fight over voting rights bill Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (D-Ore.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Va.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (D-N.Y.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerAustin, Milley to testify on Afghanistan withdrawal After messy Afghanistan withdrawal, questions remain House Democrats press leaders to include more funding for electric vehicles in spending plan MORE (R-Neb.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Bottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future MORE (R-Miss.) and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanMore than ever, we must 'stand to' — and stand behind — our veterans Trump getting tougher for Senate GOP to ignore Former NFL player challenging Boozman in Arkansas GOP primary 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.

“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. 
 
A scheduling update from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump seeking challenger to McConnell as Senate GOP leader: report Budget chairman: Debt ceiling fight 'a ridiculous position to be in' Buckle up for more Trump, courtesy of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ky.) that outlined what else the chamber will tackle before a two-week recess expected to start on March 23 did not mention the background check legislation. 
 
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.