The Senate is ready to launch an emotion-charged debate on new gun restrictions, four months after the carnage at a Connecticut elementary school spurred President Barack Obama and Congress to address firearms violence.
Two pivotal senators announced a bipartisan deal Wednesday on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, an agreement that could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb firearms violence.
President Barack Obama is providing a ride on Air Force One to 11 relatives of those killed at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School so they can attend his gun control speech Monday before heading to Washington to personally plead with senators reluctant to back gun legislation.
Gun enthusiasts concerned about new weapon controls and alarmed by rumors of government hoarding are buying bullets practically by the bushel, making it hard for stores nationwide to keep shelves stocked and even putting a pinch on some local law enforcement departments.
Connecticut lawmakers have approved wide-ranging legislation in response to last year's deadly school shooting in Newtown, including gun control measures that ban the sales of large-capacity ammunition magazines and more than 100 weapons that previously had been legal.
President Barack Obama travels to Colorado today to step up his call for universal background checks for gun buyers and at least a vote in Congress on an assault weapons ban and limits on large-capacity ammunition magazines.