MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

March 6, 2013

Dems halt background check talks with Coburn

— WASHINGTON (AP)   Senate Democrats set aside their effort Wednesday to win support from conservative Sen. Tom Coburn for requiring federal background checks for nearly all gun purchases, at least temporarily hurting President Barack Obama’s chances for pushing one of his top priorities through Congress.

Democrats’ failure to resolve a final dispute with the Oklahoma Republican means they’ve lost a valuable ally, at least for now. Coburn has an A-rating from the National Rifle Association and could have prompted backing from other Republicans and from moderate Democrats from GOP-leaning states leery of alienating voters.

In addition, gun-curb supporters say the Senate will have to approve legislation with strong bipartisan support to boost their chances of success in the GOP-led House. Republican leaders there have said they won’t act until the Senate produces legislation.

Senate Democrats instead will seek backing from other Republicans for what they still hope will be a bipartisan drive to expand the current background check system, said an aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who has been leading the Democratic effort.

The aide, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the talks were private, said conversations with Coburn would continue. But it was clear that Democrats’ focus was shifting elsewhere.

Requiring nearly universal background checks is the foundation, and most popular part, of the proposals to curb firearms that Obama unveiled in January. That package came a month after the shooting massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., of 20 first-graders and six staffers.

Currently, the checks are required only for sales by the nation’s 55,000 federally licensed gun dealers, not for private sales between individuals, like those at gun shows or online. An Associated-Press-GfK poll in January found 84 percent favored requiring background checks at gun shows.

The talks between Coburn and Schumer foundered because Schumer was insisting that records be kept of private gun sales, perhaps by the seller, the manufacturer or others. Negotiations had lasted weeks and the two sides were stuck on the issue for some time, so Wednesday’s development was not a surprise.

1
Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks