Is the rush for stricter gun laws over?


(CBS News) The rush for new legislation on gun control after a shooter killed 26 victims at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last month may be starting to decelerate on Capitol Hill, CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.

One day before Vice President Joe Biden is due to present his task force's recommendations on how to deal with a culture stained with escalating gun violence, it's growing increasingly dubious whether that report will include a plea to reinstate a ban on assault-style rifles. Even if it does, opposition is hardening on the right.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on "Face the Nation," that he does not think an assault weapons ban can pass Congress, nor should it, according to McCain. "That's not the right way to do it, " he said.

And, some of President Obama's Democratic allies -- like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who sounded off on the urgency of gun control measures after Newtown -- are now seeking a slow-moving Washington commission.

"If you're just going to say it's all about guns and we need gun changes and bans, then you're wrong," Manchin said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "You need a comprehensive approach."

There is growing support across the country to tighten gun regulations: A new Gallup poll shows a 13 percent increase among Americans calling for stricter laws. Forty-three percent, though, say they are satisfied with the current laws.

McCain: Assault weapons ban won't pass
The battle against the clock on gun control
Biden: "No silver bullet" to prevent gun violence

Monday on "CBS This Morning," Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said it's "interesting" that Biden did not mention an assault weapons ban in his various press moments last week while meeting with groups to approach the issue of gun violence. But, King qualified, "it may be in the recommendations ultimately." 

King added that he supports "mandatory background checks, and also stronger penalties for people who lie on background checks," and would like to see something done about "the gun show loophole, where people don't have to do background checks."

"It's really got to be a comprehensive policy, I think," King continued. "But the biggest issue to me is the size of the magazines - that's sort of a common thread that connects a lot of these massacres."

Encouraged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York legislature has sped toward passage of a tough new assault weapons ban, and if reform efforts stall in Congress, other states may follow suit. But as sales of firearms that could be banned skyrocket, one top Senate Democrat is calling for a voluntary moratorium.

"If we continue to see nearly 80,000 gun sales in each month in states all over the country, it's going to be counterproductive to whatever solution we are going to implement," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a press conference Sunday.