WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- A U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved a Democratic bill Tuesday expanding required federal background checks for nearly all gun purchases, but put off immediate consideration of an assault weapons ban.
The panel approved the measure by a vote of 10-8. The bill was supported by all Democrats and opposed by every Republican.
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, the bill's sponsor, said the measure will reduce gun crimes, and said he hopes he can strike a compromise on the measure with Republicans, which would enhance the measure's chances of passing in the full Senate.
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the panel, said he believes the measure will ultimately lead to a federal registry of gun owners, which is illegal. Schumer said that wouldn't happen.
The committee also approved a measure providing $40 million a year for school safety programs, but postponed a vote on a proposal to ban assault weapons until Thursday.
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