Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, is reportedly unsure whether he will push for a Senate vote on two gun-control amendments he filed earlier this month.  One amendment would deny immigrants on visa waivers the right to buy guns; the second would require the attorney general to report attempted firearms purchases to the Secretary of Homeland Security whenever a would-be buyer fails a background check due to their immigration status, or whenever a noncitizen purchases two or more handguns in five consecutive business days or less.  Blumenthal, who supports immigration reform, told Mother Jones on Thursday that he was reluctant to "doom or cripple immigration reform efforts to raise those amendments", but added that "the issue of gun violence belongs in the debate". 

"If undocumented immigrants who may be dangerous to themselves or others...are stopped from gun buys, it serves the interests of security," Sen. Blumenthal told the Courant.

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The senator's comments to Mother Jones came after lawmakers met with families of victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings for a press conference on Thursday as part of a renewed effort to pass legislation which would expand background checks on gun owners.  Sen. Blumenthal was a key player in the previous effort, whose 54-46 defeat infuriated supporters of a measure which was overwhelmingly popular among the public and saw President Barack Obama give an irate post-vote press conference in which he vowed that gun-control efforts were not over.  On Thursday, the senator reaffirmed his commitment to gun control and called the National Rifle Association -- which organized a flurry of last-minute activity among members to put pressure on members of Congress, reportedly spending $500,000 in a single day - "schoolyard bullies".  But he indicated the priorities of the moment might call for him to hold off on insisting that the Senate hold a vote on adding the amendments to the legislation. 

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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the bill's Republican supporters, told BusinessWeek earlier this month that Blumenthal's proposals would be "problematic".

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"We'd open up the flood gates," Graham said. "We need to get immigration done. We've had a gun debate. We need an immigration debate."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is currently in talks over which measures will get a vote with minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who told Mother Jones on Thursday that "nothing new" has been forged with regard to which amendments will be debated and voted on on the Senate floor.