Updated Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says closing loopholes in the background check system for gun purchasers won't threaten firearms owners' Second Amendment rights to own a gun and is a matter of common sense.
In a prepared statement for his committee's hearing Wednesday on curbing guns, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy says that after the killing of elementary school students and staffers in Newtown, Conn., it is time to stop sloganeering and partisan recriminations on the subject.
Leahy says the background check system needs strengthening. By law, anyone buying a gun from a licensed dealer must have a background check, with convicted criminals and people with mental problems barred from purchases. Gun buyers at gun shows and online don't need the check.
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Senate Judiciary Committee members (L-R) U.S. Sen. John Jeff Sessions (R-AL), U.S. Sen. John Orrin Hatch (R-UT), ranking member U.S. Sen. John Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), U.S. Sen. John Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), U.S. Sen. John Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. John Richard Durbin (D-IL) listen to testimony during a hearing about gun control on Capitol Hill January 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.