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David Sherfinski

David Sherfinski

David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by David Sherfinski

Background checks part of gun-control talks

Key Senators from both parties said Sunday that background checks on virtually all gun sales can win bipartisan support in the Senate, signaling progress on one of the key provisions of President Obama's gun control package. Published February 17, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Obama leak of visa plan draws fire

Congressional Republicans on Sunday accused the White House of poisoning the well on immigration reform by leaking a draft proposal while senators from both parties are working toward a compromise on the issue, saying the move shows President Obama is more concerned with scoring political points than passing legislation. Published February 17, 2013


NRA chief fires back at president

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre accused President Obama Thursday of trying to exploit the recent Connecticut school shootings to advance a decades-old gun-control agenda in his first public response to Mr. Obama's State of the Union address. Published February 14, 2013

Hill Democrats lock and load for gun vote

President Obama's rallying cries in his State of the Union address for Congress to vote on his gun-control measures prodded his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill into fighting mode, with one prominent party member warning House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday not to "hide from the American people" on the issue. Published February 13, 2013

**FILE** National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

NRA CEO LaPierre to respond to SOTU Thursday

National Rifle Association vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre will "directly respond" to President Obama's State of the Union address Thursday afternoon, the group announced Wednesday. Published February 13, 2013

Cynthia Willis visits a firing range in White City, Ore. She is suing the Jackson County sheriff over the denial of a concealed-handgun permit after acknowledging that she uses marijuana to treat arthritis and muscle spasms. (Associated Press)

Handgun permits to be exempted from records requests under Virginia House vote

The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would exempt concealed handgun permits from public record requests, a response to a New York newspaper's recent publication of an interactive map of concealed-carry permit holders' names and addresses. Published February 12, 2013

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Associated Press)

Political split on gun rights evident during Senate hearing

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee argued Tuesday that a balance exists between enacting new gun laws and protecting the Second Amendment, while Republicans cautioned that any ban on so-called assault weapons treads dangerously on the U.S. Constitution — an ideological divide seared into the current gun debate that hard-liners on both sides are unlikely to cross. Published February 12, 2013

State of the Union sets up next round of debate on gun-control legislation

The next battlefield in the gun-control fight will be Tuesday's State of the Union address, where President Obama's allies have invited more than two dozen gun-crime victims to sit in the public galleries to cheer him on — and one Second Amendment supporter is countering by giving a ticket to NRA board member Ted Nugent. Published February 11, 2013

Background checks represent ground for compromise on gun control

Out of the flurry of ambitious gun control proposals in the wake of December's school shooting in Connecticut, expanded background checks on gun sales are fast emerging as the "sweet spot" — as one Senate Democratic leader put it — between what gun control advocates seek and what can actually attract bipartisan support in Congress. Published February 10, 2013

** FILE ** Vice President Joseph R. Biden speaks Jan. 25, 2013, during a roundtable discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. (Associated Press)

Biden heads to Philly for roundtable on guns

After a brief jaunt overseas, Vice President Joseph R. Biden will head to Philadelphia, Pa., on Monday to hold a roundtable discussion on gun safety with law enforcement officials, according to the White House. Published February 7, 2013

House Democrats offer own gun-control plan

After conducting their own independent review of gun violence, House Democrats on Thursday outlined new gun-control proposals very similar to the White House plan: Broader background checks and bans on military-style semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Published February 7, 2013

Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago was shot and killed Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, in a Chicago park as she talked with friends by a gunman who apparently was not even aiming at her. Pendleton, who had performed in President Obama's inauguration festivities, is the latest face on the ever-increasing homicide toll in the president's hometown. (Associated Press)

First lady to attend funeral of slain Chicago teen

First lady Michelle Obama, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are scheduled to travel to Chicago Saturday to attend the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot to death last week after performing in President Obama's inauguration celebration. Published February 7, 2013

** File ** Tony Bennett performs with Dave Brubeck at George Wein's Carefusion Newport Jazz 55 in Newport, R.I. on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009. (Associated Press)

Tony Bennett: Without gun control, U.S. may become 1940s Germany

President Obama's gun control push got some Hollywood star power at a Wednesday morning news conference at the Capitol that included appearances from actors Chris Rock, Adam Scott, and Amanda Peet — as well as crooner Tony Bennett, who cautioned that if America does not act on the issue of gun violence, it could be headed down the road of 1940s Germany. Published February 6, 2013

Stars come out on Capitol Hill for tougher gun laws

President Obama has consistently called for a national conversation on gun violence since December's Connecticut school shootings, and on Wednesday, some of his most loyal backers — Hollywood's B-List — responded. Published February 6, 2013

Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (from left), New York Democrat; E. Scott Rigell, Virginia Republican; Patrick Meehan, Pennsylvania Republican; and Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, prepare Tuesday to announce legislation to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and stiffen laws against straw buyers. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Straw gun buyers targeted

House members on Tuesday rolled out the chamber's first piece of bipartisan gun legislation since December's Connecticut school shootings, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he could envision strengthening federal background checks — two significant developments in a debate that has been left largely to the White House and the Democrat-controlled Senate. Published February 5, 2013

President Obama greets law enforcement officers before taking the stage to speak on ideas to reduce gun violence Monday in Minneapolis. He tried to channel a bipartisan sentiment similar to the message of a group of college presidents. (Associated Press)

College presidents oppose more guns on campus

College presidents and university officials on Monday rejected the idea of arming students and faculty on college campuses, saying the best solution to combat gun violence is to enact President Obama's plans to ban some weapons and ammunition magazines and conduct background checks on all gun buyers. Published February 4, 2013

President Obama speaks Feb. 4, 2013, at the Minneapolis Police Department's Special Operations Center to outline his plan on gun violence. (Associated Press)

Obama's gun control push moves states to fight it

Even as some governors and mayors eye tighter restrictions on firearms in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings, state legislators across the country are launching pre-emptive strikes against federal gun control proposals that may never even make it through Congress. Published February 4, 2013

National Rifle Association President David Keene (center) and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (right) greet Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, after a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?" (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

NRA head wary on background checks, wants better instant check system

The president of the National Rifle Association argued Thursday that a universal background check system for gun buyers is both impracticable and unnecessary, but an effective instant check system that includes records of the adjudicated mentally ill would prevent potentially dangerous people — such as the gunman at Virginia Tech in 2007 — from getting their hands on firearms. Published January 31, 2013

National Rifle Association President David Keene (center) and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (right) greet Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, after a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?" (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Emotions run high at gun hearing

Democrats and Republicans found little common ground Wednesday as Congress kicked off the first major gun-control debate in years, showing last month's school shooting rampage in Connecticut left emotional scars but has not broken the gridlock that has doomed gun legislation for two decades. Published January 30, 2013

Reid gives no sign of Senate debate on broad gun ban

One day before Congress convenes its first hearing on gun violence since the Connecticut school shooting rampage in December, the Senate's top Democrat remained noncommittal Tuesday about bringing a broad gun ban to the chamber floor. Published January 29, 2013