President Obama is seeking a way to use executive authority to close the so-called gun show loophole that allows thousands of people to buy firearms each year without a background check, but complicated legal issues have slowed the process, reports the Los Angeles Times. On Thursday, Republicans blocked several efforts by Democrats to add gun control provisions to a budget measure.
In one of a series of near-party-line procedural votes, the Senate by 54 to 45 blocked a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would have stopped people on the government's anti-terrorist “no fly” list from buying guns. By a 50 to 48 vote the chamber also blocked a measure by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) to tighten the background-check system. Obama has directed his aides to step up efforts to get around the congressional stalemate by using his executive powers to reinterpret existing law to require all or most gun sales to go through the background check system. A solution has proven difficult.