CT lawmakers urge Congress to pass background check reform

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HARTFORD -

The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote on the bipartisan Background Checks Act this week, and several federal lawmakers from Connecticut gathered in Hartford Monday to urge support for the legislation.

House Democrats are poised to pass the bipartisan measure that would require federal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions.

Connecticut adopted comprehensive background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, but other states have not. Connecticut lawmakers say many illegal guns that come into Connecticut are from outside the state.

"Even with the strongest gun laws in the country in the nation, we are at the mercy of states with the weakest, because guns have no respect for state boundaries," says Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

House Democrats have also scheduled a vote on legislation to extend the deadline for federal background checks, from three business days to as many as 20.  It's designed to close the so-called "Charleston loophole,"  which allowed a white supremacist to buy a gun and open fire on an African-American church despite pending felony charges against him.

The bills face opposition from the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump, and both are likely to face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Danbury shooting range owner Dean Price does support background checks, but is still wary of the current legislation. He says there should be some kind of language in the bills that protects law-abiding citizens from extended delays for background checks.

Sen. Chris Murphy introduced the Senate counterpart bill of the bipartisan Background Checks Act.  He was set to hold a town hall on gun violence Monday evening in Washington.

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