Suburbs Now Playing a Key Role in Gun Legislation

In the emotional politics of gun control, the suburbs seem to be emerging as a new sphere of influence.

The Senate's defeat last week of new firearms restrictions brought attention to the nation's shifting demographics and a pronounced divide on the gun issue between Americans in rural areas and in suburban enclaves. Packed with married women and political independents, the suburbs are acting more like urban centers that long have been concerned with street crime and have favored tougher gun laws.

The suburbs were a common denominator for a handful of Republican lawmakers who broke ranks with the GOP last week to support expanded background checks.

Four Republicans backed the proposal, including three from states where suburbs play a strong role in political issues.

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