CNN
Now playing
01:50
GOP lawmaker: Banning AR-15s could save lives
NS Slug: FL: PUBLIX DIE-IN HELD AGAINST CANDIDATE ADAM PUTNAM  Synopsis: Footage of several Marjory Stoneman Douglas students participating in a protest at a Coral Springs, FL Publix  Video Shows: - Footage of several Marjory Stoneman Douglas students participating in a protest at a Coral Springs, FL Publix by drawing chalk outlines in the parking lot and lied down for exactly 12 minutes in the store. - MSD student David Hogg called for a boycott of Publix due to them donating to gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, who has an "A" rating from the NRA.   Keywords: FLORIDA PUBLIX PROTEST NRA GUN SUPPORT
WSVN
NS Slug: FL: PUBLIX DIE-IN HELD AGAINST CANDIDATE ADAM PUTNAM Synopsis: Footage of several Marjory Stoneman Douglas students participating in a protest at a Coral Springs, FL Publix Video Shows: - Footage of several Marjory Stoneman Douglas students participating in a protest at a Coral Springs, FL Publix by drawing chalk outlines in the parking lot and lied down for exactly 12 minutes in the store. - MSD student David Hogg called for a boycott of Publix due to them donating to gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, who has an "A" rating from the NRA. Keywords: FLORIDA PUBLIX PROTEST NRA GUN SUPPORT
Now playing
01:18
Protesters hold 'die-in' at grocery store
guttenberg
CNN
guttenberg
Now playing
02:29
Parkland dad: Not talking is not legislation
Additional Embargo:   Additional Source(s):    Date Shot: 5/15/2018   Shipping/Billing Info:     Description: Projects: None  Cost Center: Atlanta National Desk / 20100101   Created By: kconerly  On: 1526391205  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WPLG;
Additional Embargo: Additional Source(s): Date Shot: 5/15/2018 Shipping/Billing Info: Description: Projects: None Cost Center: Atlanta National Desk / 20100101 Created By: kconerly On: 1526391205 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now playing
02:26
Parkland parents running for school board seats
CNN
Now playing
02:00
Students prepare to 'march for their lives'
mcclean parent
CNN
mcclean parent
Now playing
03:49
Parents push for change after school shootings
Local moms convene to connect out-of-town marchers with host families around Washington.
Courtesy Phaedra Siebert
Local moms convene to connect out-of-town marchers with host families around Washington.
Now playing
03:05
Mom's tweet helped protesters find free lodging
CNN
Now playing
03:16
Sandy Hook survivor joins March for our Lives
Scott Israel SOTU 2
CNN
Scott Israel SOTU 2
Now playing
02:36
Tapper questions sheriff's 'amazing leadership'
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat looks to pass the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 24, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Oscar Baldizon/NBAE/NBAE/Getty Images
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat looks to pass the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 24, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Now playing
00:47
Dwyane Wade emotional about Parkland victim
03 Scott Israel SOTU
CNN
03 Scott Israel SOTU
Now playing
00:53
Sheriff: Of course I won't resign
Sheriff Scott Israel and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch
John Nowak/CNN
Sheriff Scott Israel and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch
Now playing
03:11
Tapper presses sheriff on tone toward NRA
Now playing
03:01
CNN anchor to NRA spokeswoman: How dare you
Demonstrators participate in a "lie-in" during a protest in favor of gun control reform in front of the White House, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP
Demonstrators participate in a "lie-in" during a protest in favor of gun control reform in front of the White House, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Now playing
01:42
Florida student: This is about us, not Trump
iconic photo of woman Cathi Rush
AP licensed
iconic photo of woman Cathi Rush
Now playing
01:58
Woman from iconic shooting photo: I hate it
CNN
Now playing
06:19
Emma Gonzalez questions NRA spokeswoman
(CNN) —  

As Congress returns to Washington this week, a sweeping and polarizing debate on guns is waiting for them, and lawmakers must decide if it’s one they’re willing to tackle just months ahead of the midterm elections.

Control of the Senate is up for grabs, though Democrats face a steep climb to regain the majority as they have 10 seats in states President Donald Trump won that they must defend. The thin margin for control in the chamber is a powerful force pressuring both sides in the coming weeks as they decide how far they’re willing to go – if anywhere – on addressing gun violence and mass shootings.

Pushed by Trump to do something, Republicans could be forced to choose between the President’s wishes and some of the National Rifle Association’s red lines.

Trump spent last week in listening sessions with survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting and with law enforcement officials. But Capitol Hill aides say a key factor in whether they push to change gun laws is whether Trump – who is prone to changing his mind on policy priorities and careening abruptly from one topic to another – will remain focused this week on the issue.

Democrats in those Trump states – as well as some in leadership – must also consider the political ramifications of a gun debate, leaving open the question of whether lawmakers will engage this week.

“Until the majority leader speaks, I don’t think anybody should assume there is going to be any debate,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator from Connecticut told CNN on Friday, referencing the role Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would have to play for the chamber to act on guns.

RELATED: Congress’ Republican leaders silent so far on Trump’s gun proposals

Background checks gets new push

While Trump has encouraged lawmakers to look at background checks and raising the legal age to purchase rifles from 18 to 21, it is Senate and House leaders who will make the ultimate call on what comes to the floor of their respective chambers. Republicans and Democrats will each huddle for the respective party lunches on Tuesday, which may be the earliest indication of whether Congress plans to act on even narrow proposals.

Murphy told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday that he was encouraged by Trump’s supportive statements on comprehensive background checks.

“I’m not sure if he knows what that means,” Murphy said. “That generally means universal background checks applying to all commercial sales, but he has not backtracked on that tweet since he made it.”

Murphy has partnered with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, on legislation that aims to shore up compliance in reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. According to Cornyn, there is a bipartisan conversation underway about whether the Senate could get agreement to vote on the so-called Fix NICS bill as soon as Monday, which could limit debate and hold off tough amendments on both sides of the aisle, but that would require every single member of the Senate to agree to bring it up.

For now, it appears that any gun debate would likely include just modest changes to gun laws, like the proposal to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by incentivizing states and agencies to more readily include valuable records into the system.

The House already passed that bill in December although it was attached to another proposal that would allow individuals with concealed carry permits to transport their guns across state lines. The concealed carry bill would likely be dead on arrival in the Senate.

Cornyn signals opposition to changing gun age limit

While some Republican senators, like Florida’s Marco Rubio and Kansas’ Pat Roberts, have signaled a willingness to raise the age at which individuals can purchase rifles from 18 to 21, other key leaders have broken with Trump.

“I think what we want to focus on is things that will actually save lives,” Cornyn, the GOP vote counter, told CNN on Friday when asked if he supported raising the age limit. “That’s why I think the focus should be on the Fix NICS bill, which is the only bipartisan piece of legislation that can be signed into law.”

“There are a lot of other ideas out there that people are proposing and that I don’t think will actually change any outcomes,” he added.

Cornyn, who was in the Capitol on Friday to preside over a brief pro forma session, said he thought an age restriction would be problematic if an 18-year-old Marine or police officer were told he or she could not buy a gun.

“I can see that it would be difficult to enforce. I’m not sure why we would go to those lengths when I don’t think that gets to the root of the problem,” he said.

What’s different this time

Senators have been through this debate before. In 2012, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 26 dead, including 20 children, the Senate tried and failed to ban assault weapons, to limit the size of high-capacity magazines and require more background checks. Lawmakers failed even with a Democratic president and Democratic Senate in part because of opposition from red state Democrats.