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Dianne Feinstein’s assault-weapons ban may be DOA on Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t mean that Congress is dormant on the issue of guns. A bipartisan group in the Senate have quietly begun working with both gun-rights and gun-control activists on the issue of background checks, and may soon have a competing proposal to Feinstein’s bill that will address mental-health issues and gaps in gun purchases. USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich reports that a Gang of Four are working on the bill:

A bipartisan coalition of senators is working on a proposal to strengthen and expand background checks for potential gun purchasers in an attempt to break the partisan gridlock holding up regulations on gun ownership.

Members of the group, which includes Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois and Democrats Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have declined to discuss specifics of the talks or of a potential bill. …