WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- A top U.S. Senate Democrat said Sunday the latest proposal on expanding background checks for gun sales will appeal to enough senators to pass.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said on "Fox News Sunday" he had not made a formal tally of the votes in the Senate, but said the so-called Manchin/Toomey compromise appealed to a large segment of the public and even members of the National Rifle Association.
"When it gets down to it, we've got to ask the basic question, should we try to keep guns out of the hands of felons and people so mentally unstable, they shouldn't own a firearm?" said Durbin. "If the answer is yes, Manchin/Toomey is a step in that direction."
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Fox he saw a greater need to bolster mental-health measures to keep weapons out of the hands of unstable people who won't be dissuaded by new rules.
"We can't just pat ourselves on the back and say we're passing enhanced penalties for trafficking or other issues or background checks when they don't really go and solve the problems that caused these terrible tragedies," he said.