Gun control: Baby steps better than nothing

As limited as the Senate proposal is, “it would be the most significant expansion of background checks in 28 years,” Jim Kessler of the centrist group Third Way, who has worked on gun legislation for decades, told me last week.

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Opinion

April 2, 2021 - 10:38 AM

 Sometime this spring, in an attempt to do something — anything — on gun control, the U.S. Senate will revive a bill that would require people who buy guns from unlicensed dealers to undergo federal background checks, closing a gap often called the “gun show loophole.”

Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus (Joshua Roberts/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

If it passes, this exceedingly modest measure will make gun purchases a tiny bit harder for criminals, people with mental illness and others who shouldn’t be roaming our streets with firearms. The National Rifle Association will scream about an imaginary threat to the Second Amendment. And liberals who favor strict, European-style firearm controls will express disgust at the measure’s painfully narrow ambition.

But as limited as the Senate proposal is, “it would be the most significant expansion of background checks in 28 years,” Jim Kessler of the centrist group Third Way, who has worked on gun legislation for decades, told me last week.

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