One aspect of the gun control debate is still alive, and seems close to compromise: expanding background checks. A major part of S.649 called the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools act of 2013” will change laws to require background checks in sales between two unlicensed, private parties (with exceptions). This would close what some call the “gun show loophole,” which allows people to buy firearms without any background check. Instead, the private parties would have to use a licensed go between to hold the firearm and conduct a background check.
The pertinent text reads: “…it shall be unlawful for any person who is not licensed under this chapter to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed under this chapter, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession of the firearm for the purpose of complying with subsection (s). Upon taking possession of the firearm, the licensee shall comply with all requirements of this chapter as if the licensee were transferring the firearm from the licensee’s inventory to the unlicensed transferee.”
The following exceptions apply to this law. Gifts between immediate family members and transfers from a decedent’s estate do not require background checks. Temporary transfers are also exempt if 1) a transfer of possession between unlicensed persons is in the transferor's home for less than seven days or 2) the transfer is a certain temporary transfer without the transfer of title in connection with lawful hunting or sporting purposes at a shooting range, at a shooting competition, or while hunting, fishing, or trapping during hunting season.
Library of Congress, Senate Bill 649 Safe Communities Safe Schools Act of 2013: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:s.649:
U.S. Senate, On the Senate Floor Tuesday April 9, 2013: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/floor_activity/04_09_2013_Senate_Floor.htm
Reuters, Key Senators Reach Deal on Background Checks for Gun Buyers: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/10/us-usa-guns-idUSBRE93800G20130410
The Wall Street Journal, Senators to Unveil Deal on Gun Background Checks: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/04/09/senators-near-deal-on-gun-background-checks/
Fox News, With Ban on Semi-Automatic Weapons Out, Congress Now Spars Over Universal Background Checks: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/31/kelly-warns-republicans-about-blocking-senate-debate-vote-on-gun-control/
Politico, Mitch McConnell Joins Senate Gun Filibuster: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/mitch-mcconnell-joins-senate-gun-filibuster-89773.html
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/how-to/become-an-ffl.html