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John McCain: Background Checks Will Get Broad Support In Senate

02/17/2013 12:32 pm ET | Updated Feb 17, 2013

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he expects bipartisan legislation expanding background checks on gun purchases to have broad support in the Senate.

"There's some senators, bipartisan, again, Senator Coburn and Senator Manchin and some others who are working on a package that I think that most of us will be able to support," McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I applaud their efforts."

McCain continued, "Obviously, we want to do everything we can to prevent guns from falling into the hands of people who are mentally unbalanced or criminals."

The bipartisan plan touted by McCain is currently under negotiation. Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) have met to discuss the proposed legislation, which would close loopholes in the current background check system.

"It's coming along pretty well," Schumer said after a meeting on the plan last Wednesday. "We're hopeful."

Recent surveys have shown overwhelming public support for expanding background checks. A Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month found that 92 percent of voters are in favor of universal checks on gun buyers.

McCain has previously signaled his support for strengthening background checks for gun purchases. However, he has criticized other gun control proposals, including bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“I’ve not seen how that would improve the situation at all,” McCain said on CNN last month. “I think the burden of proof has to be on those who want such a thing.”

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