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A bipartisan team of senators wants to prevent gun tragedies by ensuring the national background check system actually works

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are expected to announce their unlikely partnership on gun legislation Thursday, signaling yet another bipartisan attempt to bridge party differences in the wake of tragic mass shootings across the country in recent weeks.

The Cornyn-Murphy bill is "narrow in its focus," The Washington Post writes, and aims to encourage states and federal agencies to actually report infractions that would prohibit a person from buying a gun to a national database. The legislation was spurred in part by the man who opened fire in a Texas church earlier this month; he had managed to obtain weapons due in part to the fact that the Air Force failed to report his 2014 domestic violence conviction to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Millions of such records are missing from the database, one study found, with "at least 25 percent of felony convictions ... not available."

On the topic of gun control, Murphy and Cornyn are unlikely allies. After joining the Senate only a few weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting happened in his home state, Murphy is recognized as one of the Hill's most outspoken voices on background checks. Cornyn, on the other hand, has argued to focus on "mental illness," noting that the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, stole his mother's gun and would not have been stopped by a background check.

Following a floor speech by Murphy last week about the lack of legislative action after mass shootings, Cornyn was inspired to approach the Connecticut senator about a bipartisan deal. Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has also played a role in writing the legislation, and more Republicans are expected to get on board. Read more about the bill at The Washington Post.