1. Although gun-control activists hope to see an assault-weapons ban, it's not clear that could pass Congress. Instead, many expect the fight to focus instead on expanding background checks required for gun sales. 
  2. Below, what you need to know about background checks.
  3. The law requiring background checks is 20 years old.

  4. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
  5. In 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act required background checks for people buying guns from federally licensed firearms dealers. Run by the FBI, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was launched in 1998.
  6. Gun buyers submit basic information for a background check.

  7. Before buying a gun, prospective buyers submit their name, sex, race, date of birth and the state where they live to the FBI. They can also submit their Social Security Number, but they aren't required to.
  8. Denials can be issued for several reasons.

  9. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
  10. The biggest reason for denials is conviction for a major crime. Gun sales can also be denied because a prospective buyer has had a restraining order for domestic violence against them or has mental health issues, among other things.
  11. Around 1 percent of checks result in a denial.

  12. The FBI does more than 10 million background checks each year. Around 1 percent of background checks result in a denial — that was 150,013 out of 10,764,237 checks in 2009. Between 1998 and 2012, the FBI issued 987,578 denials
  13. Not every gun sale requires a background check.

  14. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  15. Private sales are exempt from the background check system. That includes selling your gun to a friend, relative or stranger as well as many sales at gun shows.
  16. Closing the gun show loophole is extremely popular.

  17. In a December poll by USA Today and Gallup, 92 percent of adults surveyed supported requiring background checks for people buying guns at gun shows. 
  18. It's even popular among NRA members.

  19. A survey conducted in July by noted Republican pollster Frank Luntz for the pro-gun control Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 74 percent of NRA members supported requiring background checks for anyone purchasing a gun.
  20. A task force will likely recommend expanding background checks.

  21. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)