Bipartisan Background-Check Deal May Boost Gun Bill’s Chances

The framework developed by Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey would broaden gun background-check requirements to include gun shows and online sales.

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Olivier Douliery / ABACA USA

Senator Patrick J. Toomey, speaks as Senator Joe Manchin looks on during a press conference to announce a bipartisan deal on background checks for gun shows and Internet sales at the Capitol on April 10, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

A bipartisan pair of senators announced an agreement Wednesday to expand background checks on commercial firearm sales, a compromise that could bolster the chances of a gun-control package passing the Senate later this month.

The framework developed by Senators Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, would broaden background-check requirements to include gun shows and online sales. Private gun transfers, such as those between family members, would still not be subject to background checks.

The compromise brokered by Manchin and Toomey comes after a succession of bipartisan negotiators stumbled in their attempts to reach an agreement on background checks. Conservatives objected to provisions requiring additional record-keeping on gun buyers, which they fear could be a first step toward a national gun registry. The new bipartisan deal, unveiled at a Wednesday morning news conference on Capitol Hill, would require record-keeping on commercial sales but would not extend it by forcing citizens to keep records of private transactions.

Manchin and Toomey, both of whom have ‘A’ ratings from the NRA, cast the compromise as a set of “common sense” measures that would strengthen Second Amendment protections for law-abiding gun owners while shoring up loopholes through which criminals and the mentally ill can slip. “I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control,” Toomey said. “Background checks are not a cure-all by any means, but they can be helpful.”

The package will be introduced as the first amendment to the gun-control bill on which the Senate will hold a key procedural vote Thursday. As written, the legislation on the floor would require background checks on all firearm sales and transfers — a standard that cheers gun-control advocates but is anathema to Republicans. Swapping out the existing background-check portion of the bill for the more modest Toomey-Manchin compromise could pave the way for a broader coalition of senators to back the legislation if and when it comes up for a final vote later this month. Closing the gun-show loophole is an achievement that liberal senators, as well as the Obama Administration, can claim as a victory, while conservatives will be heartened that record-keeping requirements won’t be expanded to private transactions.

But the bill’s prospects remain murky. Toomey said his own vote would depend on how the legislation is tweaked during the amendment process. “I don’t predict how I’m going to vote on a measure that isn’t defined yet,” he said. The Pennsylvania conservative, who is up for re-election in 2016 in a state which already has strong background-check laws on the books, said he had been discussing the package with Republican colleagues. Some expressed interest, he said, while others flatly opposed any new restrictions on gun access. “I’m hopeful,” he said when asked about the package’s prospects, “but I think this is a fluid situation and it’s hard to predict.” While a bipartisan pair of representatives said they would introduce similar legislation in the House, any gun-control measures face a rocky road in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.

It may help that the NRA has not, as yet, come out in opposition to the agreement. On the heels of the announcement, the gun-rights group released a statement that decried the expansion of background checks and called the deal inadequate, but also suggested the Toomey-Manchin framework was preferable to the existing alternative. “Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools,” the organization said. “While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘universal’ background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows.”

20 comments
markb3699
markb3699

I clicked on this story because it said "gun manufacturers pressured to leave states with tough gun laws," and there's nothing about that in the story, which is about something entirely different. Did anyone notice that?

reallife
reallife

this is a commie tabloid, did you notice that?

markb3699
markb3699

@reallife Commie? No. Not sure what your point is.

Bud-KathyJones
Bud-KathyJones

It would seem the democratic/progressives have become victims of the poor quality of their spokes people. I being a member of the dreaded NRA and a gun owner would have no problem with gun registration if I knew that would be the end of the gun debate, but it wouldn't be, the end. The progressives would come back and want more concessions, until no one in America would be allowed to have a gun of any type. I can verify this statement simply by using the abortion issue . When first proposed an abortion would be allowed when ?  At quickening ? First heart beat ? 1 trimester ? 2 trimester ? partial birth abortion ? Now some progressives are saying up to the age of 2 a baby is nothing more than a parasite on the mother, using that reasoning couldn't you say a retired person is nothing more than a parasite on society, how about generations of welfare recipients. Should they be aborted ? Now the whole abortion issue is back up in the air again because the progressives could not settle for what they had. The same is true with the gun issue the progressives will not settle for mere gun registration they will not stop till total gun confiscation. IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN PUNKS ! 

reallife
reallife

why do they keep calling themselves "progressives" if every time they're in power we go backwards?

they should be called "regressives"

JKK9852
JKK9852 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I have been wondering why the big push for universal NICS checks on firearm purchases since this would not prevent most firearms crime or even the recent highly publicized shootings. Once enacted as a federal statute, this is next:


· Shift the burden of proof of eligibility from the FBI to the applicant.

The NICS check is a virtual permit to purchase a firearm. Currently the FBI must prove ineligibility. Shift the burden to the applicant to prove eligibility. This could require the submittal of a clean police record, clean bill of mental health, proof of age and residency, certificate of completion of a safety course, references from
family and employers, etc. Only then would an actual permit be issued to the
applicant. This permit would be necessary to purchase and own a firearm.

· Expand restrictions and disqualifications.

Currently felony convictions and adjudicated mental incompetency are the primary reasons for denying a permit. Most any restriction can be enacted short of complete prohibition. Some possibilities: Any criminal conviction. Any recorded report of aberrant behavior. A bad or nonexistent credit report. Listed as a dependent for tax purposes.

Be creative and use your imagination. The authoritarian liberals will.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

This has no chance of being passed, of course.  This is just the Senate.  The House has the Gerrymandered Obstructionist Politicians in it which won't let any kind of background check happen.

After all, the fact is anyone who lives in fear and takes premeditated steps to carry a weapon for the sole purpose of killing another person (which is what a gun is for) is already mentally ill.  A gun doesn't protect anyone.  Using a gun kills people.  Toss in the delusional individuals who believe guns will help them against a government or will keep the government in line and you have definitely crossed the "you have a mental illness and shouldn't own a gun ever" line.  Psychologists will agree with this as well.  It's rationalized by these sick-in-the-head people as "personal protection" but statistically, it's actually far more endangering for them for have a gun in their home than not.  Look it up, folks.

So the GOP in the house, knowing that most of their pro-gun supporters will likely be classified as mentally ill and a danger to society and subsequently banned for life from firearms ownership, are going to vote it down and it will never get past the House.  After all, they don't want the backlash from their constituents for having 50% or more of the GOP officially labeled as mentally ill.

reallife
reallife

we can use this post as proof that you're not mentally fit to own a gun

antonmarq
antonmarq

They'll be a great lost, hahahahaha... They should leave the country.

JaredHeath
JaredHeath like.author.displayName 1 Like

Now just ram it through before the gun crazies somehow stop reasonable legislation with their typical fear, uncertainty and doubt.

reallife
reallife

yeah! just do it in the middle of the night... we're liberals and we are smarter and we know better... to hell with everyone else

StephenHurty
StephenHurty

Pusillanimous pipsqueak political pundits perpetually plague people per prevarication.

powertogod
powertogod

America has a big big problem. Backgound checks have not stopped government commanders from going back into Pakistan with Reaper Drones and killing children not once, not twice, not three times, but again and again and again. 200 dead little children so far to spread our freedoms? or our prison industry around the globe. At least the Sandy Hook killer ended his own life after killing so many kids. Jesus taught harmimg children was a great crime.  USA now has the largest prison population and industry in human history!!!even more than communist China. Please read warningfromgod and store food and gasoline safely. Thank you and have a nice day. Please live by the teachings of Lord Jesus. If you are in the government, please stop killing children with drones and missles. 4 Trillion dollars and 12 years of war have only brought America hatred and set then example to young people, it is American to kill the innocent. 

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Please, I know you mean well, but your post is off-topic and patently irrational in an equally irrational world.  We do as we feel we must.  Pleas for belief in a mythological creation isn't going to do squat because Jesus also said we could defend ourselves and war kills civilians just as much as "troops".  Remember, Christianity and Christian values were used on BOTH sides - pro and con - of the Slavery issue.  One can rationalize any position from what the bible says.

And if you think about it, smart-bombs and precision predator drone strikes are a hell of a lot more humane for the local populations than the carpet bombing we did in World War II.  From that point of view, we could revert to how we did it when God was on our side (at least according to the religious  pundits of the day), or we could view it as a kinder, gentler way to massacre others while adhering to what Jesus said about self defense.

Go pray for world peace.  It's one of the things that won't happen until mankind, and all life on the planet is long gone.  Life isn't peaceful - ever.  It's full of pain, injustice, fear and death.  But those are the things that make pleasure, justice, joy and life worth it.

powertogod
powertogod

@DeweySayenoff Your bs is no excuse for murdering children in the false name of freedom or an excuse for any more prisoners in America. How many dead children by drone or how many millions of Americans in prison is good enough for you and people like you. New laws = more non-violent prisoners. More war = more hatred and more young people raised up to believe violence and killling solves problems. Monkey see Monkey do.

SelenaRodriguez
SelenaRodriguez like.author.displayName 1 Like

No federal background checks of any kind is acceptable. 

jp
jp

@SelenaRodriguez 

What\s wrong with the background checks?  Are you afraid you won't pass the checks?


If you pass the checks and you get registered,  you can still buy your guns. If you don't pass,  then you have bigger problems and guns sure won\t help you there.