Sens. Murphy, Blumenthal push for broader background checks for gun buyers

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CONNECTICUT -

Connecticut's Democratic senators announced a new push Monday to require universal background checks for gun buyers nationwide.

The senators' bill would expand FBI background checks to people buying weapons from private sellers at gun shows and off the internet.

Sen. Christopher Murphy says that polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support the idea.

"It is hard to get something to achieve a 97 percent approval rating, right?” he says. “Puppies don't even have a 97 percent approval rating in this country."

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was injured by a mass shooter in 2011, is also pushing the plan.

RELATED: Gabrielle Giffords visits Newtown to push 'common sense' gun laws

But the National Rifle Association says criminals rarely buy weapons at gun shows.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says those guns still make it to the black market, arguing that the guns coming into Connecticut are from states that have no background checks. 

“We are at the mercy of the states with the weakest laws,” he says.

MORE: Connecticut Democrats call for more gun control after Pittsburgh shooting

The NRA also argues that the law will do more harm than good. They say they believe that more background checks are just a gateway to a national firearms registry.

In order for such a bill to pass, at least a dozen Republican senators would have to support it.

Blumenthal says he thinks the last election will force their hands.

"Many of the House candidates made gun violence prevention an issue,” he says. “Gun violence was an issue on the ballot in many of these elections across the country."

 

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