Senate panel sets gun bill plans but delay likely

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is announcing plans to start writing legislation on Thursday curbing guns, but that session is widely expected to be delayed for a week.

On Monday, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said his panel would consider bills banning assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, increasing federal penalties for illegal gun trafficking, and making schools safer.

There also will be a bill expanding the requirement for background check for gun sales. The final version of that measure is not yet known, as Democratic and Republican senators try crafting a compromise.

The bills largely reflect President Barack Obama's goals for reducing gun violence. Obama's proposals have been opposed by the National Rifle Association and won little overt support among Republicans in Congress.