US Democratic senators have introduced a set of proposals which are intended to form the basis for gun control legislation.
It comes a week after 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at an Oregon community college campus.
The incident prompted calls for gaps in the process for background checks to be eliminated and for authorities to start cracking down on “straw purchases”, where one person buys a gun on behalf of someone else who cannot legally purchase a firearm.
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Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan outlined the plan in a press conference on Thursday, where they were joined by a score of their colleagues, including Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Their proposals would prohibit sales of firearms to “all domestic abusers” and ensure that no one can buy a gun without a completed background check.
“These principles will be a rallying point for a public that is eager for congressional action, and will be the basis for future legislation that we will demand receive a vote,” the senators said in a letter to colleagues.
The slaughter of 20 children and six adults at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 led to the introduction of a bipartisan bill providing for universal background checks, but that measure was defeated.
While Schumer and Stabenow expressed confidence that virtually all Senate Democrats would support their bill, Republican control of both chambers of Congress cloud the prospects for passage.