The Senate Judiciary Committee moved ahead Thursday with the formal consideration of legislation to limit gun violence introduced in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., approving a bill to make the practice of illegally purchasing firearms for someone else a federal crime for the first time

The panel's 10 Democrats were joined by one Republican in approving the measure, which combines several proposals from Democratic and Republican senators to punish "straw purchasers," or people who buy a firearm for a someone who is legally barred from doing so, including felons and illegal immigrants. The bill also would punish the person who illegally sells weapons to a straw purchaser.

A bipartisan group of senators introduced the proposal on Monday after merging competing proposals and earning more GOP support.