Illinois' Republican U-S Senator Mark Kirk is sounding cautiously optimistic about the chances of passing tougher federal gun laws. He's one of a handful of senators in charge of negotiating new gun legislation after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut:
"I will tell you the assault weapon ban is the harder lift. And so what I think, the one that is most likely is background checks."
That is, expanding background checks for almost anyone who wants to buy a gun. Kirk has kept pretty busy since returning to Congress after suffering a massive stroke last year, and was given a much bally-hooed fist-bump by Barack Obama prior to the President's State of the Union Speech Tuesday.
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