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As debate proceeds, some potential amendments could broaden gun rights and weaken supporters’ backing for the overall bill.
One proposal is by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who say it would improve how the background check system keeps weapons from people with certain mental problems, though critics say it would make it harder in some cases to do so. Another possible amendment would require states to recognize permits for carrying concealed weapons issued by other states.
In Thursday’s vote, 50 Democrats and two Democratic-leaning independents were joined by 16 Republicans in voting to begin debate on the overall legislation.
Twenty-nine Republicans and two Democrats facing re-election next year in GOP-leaning states voted "no" — Alaska’s Begich and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
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