Elvin Daniel, right, whose sister Zina was killed by her husband last October at a Brookfield spa, said the tragedy could have been avoided if the law required background checks for private transactions of guns during a news conference with law enforcement officials and some Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Jon Richards, left, Thursday, March 21, in Madison, Wis. Democrats have a new proposal that would make it illegal to purchase or transfer guns without running background checks. (AP Photo/Kevin Wang)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will include a requirement for expanded background checks for firearms buyers in a gun control bill the Senate debates next month.
The Nevada Democrat says he hopes that during Congress’ upcoming two-week break, senators will reach compromise on background check language with bipartisan support.
If not, Reid says in a statement that the Senate will vote on a stricter measure expanding the checks to virtually all private gun transactions, with few exceptions.
President Barack Obama and many gun control advocates consider an expansion of background checks the strongest step lawmakers could take to reduce firearms violence.
Opponents say the system is easily sidestepped by criminals and threatens creation of a government file on gun owners — which is illegal under federal law.