Goodlatte: Gun Control Legislation Not Dead Yet

Monday, 13 May 2013 02:49 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Republicans haven't ruled out passing gun control legislation this year to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, even though the background check measure and another wide-ranging gun bill were shunned by Senate last month.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlate told The Hill that he and Speaker John Boehner have had several discussions about gun legislation, which could still move through the Congress by the end of the year.

"We are trying to improve the system to keep people who are barred under the law from owning firearms, from getting access to them," said Goodlatte. "We don't think the things that were proposed in the Senate do that."

Goodlatte said no decision has been made about when or how to move legislation. But he suggested that a renewal of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System before the end of the year could be used as one vehicle for additional gun control measures.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she believes the House will bring up gun legislation as well, but she still prefers the universal background check bill crafted by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

A Manchin-Toomey companion bill authored by Republican Rep. Peter King of New York already has 159 co-sponsors in the House. Only three of them, including King, are Republicans.

Goodlatte, however, has said he does not plan to move the Manchin-Toomey bill through his panel.

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