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Donnelly favors background checks for gun buys

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday he supports universal background checks for gun purchases, including at gun shows.

Donnelly and Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., are among senators in 13 states targeted by TV ads being run by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The ads, which were to begin airing Tuesday in Indiana, urge viewers to tell their members of Congress to vote in favor of legislation requiring background checks.

“I am supportive of background checks,” Donnelly told local media after a business roundtable discussion at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. “I want to make sure that people with, say, a felony or dealing with mental illness cannot get their hands on weapons that can cause so much destruction. And so we’re trying to put together a piece of legislation that will reflect that.”

Asked whether he backs background checks at gun shows, Donnelly said, “Yes.”

Led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns – whose members include Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry – announced the $12 million ad campaign Sunday.

That day, Tara DiJulio, communications director for Coats, said in an email that Coats’ “position remains the same. Senator Coats will oppose any effort to impose measures that infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding gun owners.”

The Senate is expected to debate and vote on gun-control measures after its two-week recess ends April 9.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

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