“What the president wants to sign is a strong, bipartisan bill with enforceable background checks,” Pfeiffer said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That has 90 percent support. It can get done.”
Pfeiffer recalled Obama’s State of the Union address in February, in which the emotional high point was his call for a vote on gun-control measures. With families of Newtown victims, as well as former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in her Tucson district, in attendance, Republican and Democratic lawmakers stood in applause.
During a speech in Denver to amp support for gun-control legislation, President Obama renewed pressure on Congress to enact stricter background checks.
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“Now that the cameras are off and the families aren’t there, they are engaging in legislative tactics to make this harder,” Pfeiffer said of Senate Republicans. “There’s no reason we have to do that. And, as the president said, politics is the only reason this stuff won’t get done.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also called on conservatives not to filibuster gun-control measures on the Senate floor because Reid has said he is open to permitting votes on GOP amendments.
Appearing on “Face the Nation,” McCain wouldn’t immediately commit to supporting background checks on gun purchases at firearms shows but said he would look at the specifics in a final proposal. “It really depends on how they are carried out, how long, what the depth of it is. This is another reason why we need to go to the floor,” he said.
Former Republican congressman Asa Hutchinson, who led an NRA-commissioned study that endorsed placing armed guards in schools to curb gun violence, also appeared open to the idea of expanding background checks in commercial transactions while exempting private sales between friends and family members.
“If you go to a gun show and you’re buying a firearm from a licensed dealer and have a background check, but you also go out to somebody’s vehicle and you get a firearm there, and you purchase it and you don’t have a check, there is some inconsistency there. And certainly, from my personal standpoint, that’s a fair debate,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Sean Sullivan contributed to this report.
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