Senate committee starting votes on curbing guns
WASHINGTON - President Obama's prospects for expanded background checks for gun sales seem shaky as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for Congress' first votes on curbing guns since the mass school shooting in Newtown last December.
The Democratic-led panel is also planning to consider bills banning assault weapons and magazines carrying more than 10 rounds of ammunition, making gun trafficking a federal crime and providing more money for school safety equipment.
All four measures are expected to pass the committee.
But they may have trouble getting through the full Senate, because Republicans oppose the assault weapons ban.
Democrats hope to strike a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks with conservative Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Those talks have foundered over whether to require records of private gun sales.
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