Gun-control measures that seemed destined to become law after the school shootings in Newtown, Ct., are in jeopardy amid a fierce lobbying campaign by firearms advocates, reports the Washington Post. Despite months of negotiations, key senators have been unable to find a workable plan for near-universal background checks on gun purchases — an idea that polls show nine in 10 Americans support. Another provision that garnered bipartisan support — making gun trafficking a federal crime — could be gutted if Republican lawmakers accept new language being circulated by the National Rifle Association.
The failure of those two measures would be a major setback for the White House and its allies, who have acknowledged that two other proposals — bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — are not politically viable. President Obama plans to visit a Colorado police academy tomorrow to renew an urgency to overhaul the nation's gun laws that has ebbed in the more than 100 days since the school massacre. Obama and his allies have not not been able to leverage national support for the proposals into a will to enact them. A TV ad campaign targeting 13 senators financed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,in its second week on the air, has not swayed enough lawmakers to ensure passage of the background-check measure.