McCarthy vows Senate will 'definitely' return to gun control this year
Mike Lillis - 04/28/13 06:00 AM ET
The Senate is on track to vote again this year on tougher gun laws, according to one of the most outspoken gun control advocates in the Congress.
Although legislation central to President Obama's effort to reduce gun violence was blocked this month in the upper chamber, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) said this week that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has told House gun control advocates that the legislation will resurface before 2014.
"Reid had already told us [last week] that they were definitely going to bring it back up again," McCarthy said Friday. "We don't know when that time will be, but he said before the end of the year."
The tone marks a shift from earlier in the month, when the Senate shot down a series of proposals designed to combat gun violence, including legislation sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would have expanded mandatory background checks prior to gun purchases.
The defeat was a stinging setback for Obama – who has made tackling gun violence a top second-term priority in the wake of December's shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn. Even some of the most ardent gun control advocates were doubtful the issue would see another vote this year.
McCarthy, a member of the House Democrats' gun violence task force, said the group has been contacted by Senate gun control supporters, who are vowing to amend their bills, twist more arms and take another stab at a vote.
"We do know that a number of senators have been reaching out to our workforce group, and they were going ahead, they're going to tweak it, they're going to see, you know, if they can work with some of the other members who voted 'no,'" McCarthy said.
Under current law, federally licensed gun dealers are required to perform background checks on prospective buyers to screen o