Background Checks

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – In a severe blow to efforts to tighten the nation’s gun control laws, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday failed to advance a bipartisan compromise on background checks that had been regarded as key to passing a wider gun bill. Proposals to ban assault weapons and limit the size of ammunition magazines also were defeated.

With Vice President Joe Biden in the chair, the Senate’s 54-46 vote in favor of the background check amendment – sponsored by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and three others – fell short of the 60 votes needed. (This Washington Post article explains why 60 votes were required.)

Blunt, McCaskill At Odds Over Background Check Bill

Apr 10, 2013
Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are divided on a bill that would expand background checks to more gun buyers. Republican Blunt has indicated that he does not support the bill, while Democrat Claire McCaskill says she will.

On a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, McCaskill said Congress needs to do something to try to prevent mass shootings.

Free gun locks will be given out Friday at City Hall in St. Louis
M Glasgow | Flickr

A St. Louis County lawmaker plans to file legislation that would require background checks on anyone who buys a firearm at a gun show.

State Representative Stacey Newman (D, Richmond Heights) says her proposal would close the so-called “gun show loophole” in Missouri.

“Right now, federal background checks are only done through licensed dealers," Newman said.  "That exempts gun shows where people can purchase unlimited amounts of weapons, including assault weapons.”