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Murphy, Toomey say background check bill could pass Senate

Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.), a key GOP senator involved in a background check bill after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, on Sunday suggested that Congress can strike a bipartisan deal on gun reform if the focus remains on background checks for commercial gun sales.

“What we need to do is try to find a place where we can land, a place where there’s some common ground. I have long believed, as I’ve told you many times, the place where we ought to be able to get that done is requiring background checks on commercial sales,” Toomey told anchor Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“You’re not going to get to 60 votes with legislation that requires a — when a father wants to sell his gun to his son to have to get a background check. So, I still think the best way to do this is to focus on commercial sales,” Toomey added.

Toomey said that with the expansion to commercial sales, background checks will cover a “vast, vast majority of all transactions,” adding that it would represent “progress.”

“Between the sales that already occur at licensed firearm dealers, all of which require a background check, and what we consider commercial sales, advertised sales, gun shows and on the internet, that covers a vast, vast majority of all transactions,” Toomey said. “And it would be progress if we had background checks for those categories.”

These comments followed remarks from Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), who expressed optimism that Congress could pass gun reform legislation on a bipartisan basis.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls from Republicans in the Senate who don’t want to fight this fight any longer,” Murphy told Todd. “The [National Rifle Association’s] authority is fading. The anti-gun violence movement’s impact is increasing. I think we have a chance.”

The conversation regarding gun reform was reignited following two deadly shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colo., which took the lives of a combined 18 people.

Following the violence, President Biden urged Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons and close loopholes in the background check system.

“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take commonsense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. … We should do it again.”

He also called on the Senate to “immediately pass” two House-approved bills that would expand background checks for gun sales, noting that both bills passed through the House with some Republican support.

Tags Chris Murphy Chuck Todd Joe Biden Pat Toomey

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