The Senate Judiciary Committee holds the first hearing on limiting gun violence since the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.
Five witnesses comprising of advocates both for and against more federal control over the manufacture and sale of firearms are set to provide their testimonies, in the first of several proceedings expected to consider proposals by President Obama and other groups.
The panel will include two of the country's most high profile activists on opposing sides of the issue, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and Mark Kelly, husband of gun violence victim Rep. Gabrielle Gifford, who narrowly survived an assassination attempt in January 2011.
Chairing the committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy said that the hearings "will ensure an open forum for a constructive discussion about how can better protect our communities from mass shootings, while respecting the fundamental right to bear arms recognised by the Supreme Court."
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