Senator Jeff Merkley told an audience at the City Club of Portland Friday that he's been hearing from Oregonians on the many gun law proposals in play in Congress.

Merkley's remarks were focused on economic advancement, but he fielded a question on what gun controls he might support.

Merkley says he's been holding town halls in many parts of the state, and sees broad support for expanding background checks.

"Background checks resonate. People feel like they are a reasonable strategy to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed."

Merkley says he struggled with the idea of an assault-weapons ban, before the bill died in Congress. He is in favor of limiting high-capacity magazines.

"You know, in Oregon, if you're hunting deer, you can have five bullets. Ducks, I think it's three shotgun shells. I think a smaller magazine is very reasonable."

The Senate is scheduled to re-convene next week. Observers believe gun legislation may be delayed, since no clear compromise bill has emerged.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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