GOP leaders don't shut the door on Obama's gun plan

John Boehner
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) returns to his office after a vote at the House floor January 15, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House is scheduled to vote on the $50.7 billion Disaster Relief Appropriations for victims of superstorm Sandy later today.
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(CBS News) WASHINGTON - Republican leaders did not shut the door on the president's gun control proposals on Wednesday. Some ideas, like universal background checks, do have bipartisan support. But any move to limit the kinds of guns people can own is going to be met with strong resistance.

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As they boarded buses for a three-day retreat, House Republicans were skeptical.

Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino said: "You know, the president's just making a political move and it's a shame that he's using this situation for political reasons."

Washington state's Dave Reichert, a former sheriff, argued gun restrictions alone won't reduce gun violence.

"I think you really have to address the mental health issues," Reichert said.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in a statement: "Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook. President Obama is targeting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens."

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Still, Democrat Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, told an audience at Georgetown University that he intends to hold hearings on the proposals starting in two weeks.

"There are some who say nothing will pass," Leahy told the crowd. "I disagree with that. What I'm interested in is what we can get."

That might mean putting the assault weapons ban on the back burner in favor of less controversial measures.

California Democrat Mike Thompson leads the party's new gun task force and is a gun owner himself.

"I think we need to look at each piece as to how much good it will do if it passes. And we need to prioritize. And the two areas that i think are the most important are universal background checks and the assault magazines," said Thomspon, adding he's optimistic about their passage.

The Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said he will wait to see what the Democrat-controlled Senate can pass. Even that won't be easy, however, because there are a number of Democrats from southern and western states who have a long record of supporting gun rights.

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    Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.