The Washington Times - February 25, 2013, 04:49PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to take up four measures on gun violence Thursday, including California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill that would ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The committee is also scheduled to take up legislation sponsored by Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Barbara Boxer of California and Charles Schumer of New York.

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Mr. Leahy’s bill would strengthen the penalties for straw purchasers — people who obtain guns for those who can’t buy them legally — and create a federal statute against gun trafficking.

Mrs. Boxer’s bill, aimed at school safety, would expand a federal grant program to provide schools with more resources to buy surveillance equipment and install secured entrances, for example.

Mr. Schumer has been negotiating with fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois, on a bill to expand background checks on gun buyers. Mr. Coburn said Sunday that one sticking point is to what extent paperwork and records would be kept on gun owners under the law. Republicans have warned that universal background checks would be a step toward a national gun registry, but President Obama and other Democrats say a registry will not happen.

There’s a good chance the hearing may get delayed by Republicans. Senators can postpone action for one week.