Cornyn's Background Check Bill Gets Enough Votes to Overcome Filibuster in Senate

| MAR 9, 2018 | 8:02 PM

YouTube/Senator John Cornyn

On Friday, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn's (R-Texas) office said his background check legislation had 62 supporters, enough to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.

The bill, for which President Donald Trump offered his support, incentivizes authorities to report criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Some Republicans initially opposed the proposal, titled “Fix NICS,” but Cornyn was able to get a group of bipartisan lawmakers to offer their support.

According to The Hill, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) each signed to the bill.

Cornyn's legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-N.Y.), could be Congress' best hope of passing gun reform after the Parkland, Florida, shooting last month.

It's unclear, however, whether the bill will come up for a vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a scheduling update that did not show the chamber considering the bill before a two-week recess on March 23.

Cornyn pushed the NICS legislation amid news that the Air Force failed to notify the FBI of Devin Kelley's criminal record before he perpetrated a mass shooting in Cornyn's home state.

Cornyn's news came just as the president met with video game industry executives to discuss the potential link between video game violence and mass shootings.

Trump initially proposed a rating system for video games, along with raising the minimum gun purchasing age to 21.

While it's unclear what official proposals, if any, the White House will put forward, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) indicated a minimum purchase age bill wouldn't pass his chamber. Ryan instead said Republicans directed attention toward background check improvements.

“We should be focusing on making sure citizens who should not be getting guns in the first place don't get those guns,” he said last month.