The government must quickly destroy records of background checks it conducts. But licensed gun dealers are required to keep paper records of firearms they sell for 20 years, and must turn them over to the government if they go out of business.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to begin voting Thursday on four gun control measures.
Lacking a deal with Coburn, one of the bills will be from Schumer, requiring nearly universal background checks resembling a measure he proposed two years ago. It will lack some of the provisions he tentatively had agreed to with Coburn, such as an appeals mechanism for veterans barred from obtaining guns because they have been formally declared to have serious mental difficulties.
The panel also plans to consider bills banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, making gun trafficking and buying guns for people forbidden to own them federal crimes, and boosting aid to schools for security measures like installing video cameras.
All are expected to pass the committee, but their fate in the full Senate is less certain.
Schumer's bill could be amended to reflect any bipartisan agreement that is reached by the time gun legislation reaches the floor, probably in April.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., also have been involved in the background check negotiations and said in a joint statement that they would continue looking for an agreement with other senators.
"It is clear that ultimately we will need bipartisan support," Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in an interview.