ATLANTA, Ga. -- Lawmakers and gun rights advocates are keeping a close watch on the gun bill compromise reached in the US senate this week that would require new rules for background checks at gun shows and online.
Dealers with a federal firearms license who sell weapons at gun shows already have to conduct background checks on their customers. The new senate compromise would close the so-called "gun show loophole," where guns are sold between private parties without background checks.
'What's being supported by the US senate is a near universal background check," said state senator Vincent Fort. "It's not everything I would have liked; but it's a long way toward making sure that people who should not have guns don't get them.'
"I don't think it's going to do any good," countered Jerry Henry, executive director of Georgia Carry. "People who are going to get guns are going to get guns. They will steal them from you; they'll buy them from someone whose already stolen them from someone else. There's just no way it's not going to happen. They're going to continue to get them."
The debate over gun control has divided Americans as well as congress, where a vote in favor of the compromise could cost some lawmakers their "A" ratings with the NRA. The group has promised to weigh in immediately afterward.
"Plus, if you look at the bill, there are several other things that are not good," said GeorgiaCarry.org's Henry.
"A doctor can send a letter to the ATF and tell them that you are mentally unstable; and you become a prohibitive person regardless of what you did."
"There are tens of thousands of attempts every year by criminals and the mentally ill to purchase guns," said state senator Fort. "So, the fact of the matter is background checks at gun shows and on the internet is the way to go."