First Votes to Tighten Gun Laws
Members of a Senate committee on Thursday will cast the first votes in Congress on measures backed by President Barack Obama to tighten gun laws. The Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to approve the four bills that make up the gun-control package. That will set up battles in the full Senate over a proposed ban on assault weapons. Background checks on prospective gun buyers will also be voted on. Wider background checks had been seen as having a good chance in Congress, but the effort has stumbled in recent days over a dispute about whether to keep records of private gun sales. It has become one of Obama's top domestic priorities.