Gun Policy
1:07 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Mo. Senators Respond To Obama's Call For More Background Checks For Gun Purchases

During his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama emphasized the need for more background checks for gun buyers, saying that that the majority of Americans favor the proposal as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

Reacting to the president's speech, Missouri's Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters this morning that whether he could support more background checks would depend on what kind of measure is presented. He says, for example, he would not support background checks that prohibit neighbors from exchanging shotguns in rural Missouri, but also says that increased information about mental health could be helpful.

"If you have a background check, and particularly if that background check has more information about people who have had mental health problems involving concerned behavior that could become criminal behavior," Blunt says. "I think that could be a helpful addition to the background check."

Missouri's Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, says there is wide support for universal background checks and such a measure has a great chance of passing.

Follow Julie Bierach on Twitter: @jbierach