By CHRIS AGEE
Lawmakers in Washington are set to consider a proposal next week to expand background checks prior to gun purchases as the nation continues to discuss how to curtail gun-related violent crime.
U.S. Senators voted Thursday to reject a planned filibuster on the issue and they will next vote on the most extensive gun control bill in almost two decades.
Both Texas senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, voted against proceeding.
"We need to make sure that what we do is address the cause of this violence," Cornyn said on the Senate floor prior to his vote, "and to come up not with symbolic gestures that will have no impact, or to pass other laws that will not be enforced, but to come together with real solutions."
Locally, individuals on all sides of the gun control issue are actively engaging in the debate.
Gene Long, a lifelong gun owner, said he does not feel the proposed legislation infringes on his right to bear arms.
"I've got to be honest, I'm a 'gun nut,' but I don't see what's wrong with that," he said. "I think it's going to hurt the gun shows, obviously."
Still a gun enthusiast, Long said he is not concerned with passing a background check.
"The only reason somebody wouldn't want background checks is they have an ulterior motive for getting the gun," he surmised. "I love guns and I'm 69 years old. I've had guns all my life. I don't hunt anymore, but I love to shoot."
Should a proposal to impose background checks before firearms are left as an inheritance be considered, Long said he would oppose it.
"If you're going to give your son or grandson a gun, I don't want that interrupted," he explained.