- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
- HUMPRHIES: The Liberal Bully of the Week is …
- Secret Service threatened to kill Mr. Met if he got close to Clinton, mascot claims
Senators draw line at private gun sales; compromise to test ideals
With chances iffy for winning a broad expansion of background checks in the Senate this week, gun control advocates face a tough choice: Hold out for a wide-ranging bill and risk killing it altogether, or find the stomach for a watered-down approach that ensures at least something passes.
Many of the groups had hoped the bill, which hit the Senate floor Monday, would expand background checks to virtually all firearms sales. But a compromise drawn up by two gun rights supporters and blessed by Democratic leaders is slimmer, expanding checks to sales at gun shows and on the Internet, but not to all private transactions.
For some groups, that concession already goes too far. Others say they can accept such a deal but can’t give up any more ground.
“This is where we will hold the line,” the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said in a statement. “Attempts by the gun lobby and their Republican allies in Congress to further water down gun violence prevention will be met with determined resistance by our coalition and its supporters in the day ahead.”
With bans on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines apparently doomed to defeat, the chief fight has been over background checks. The deal from Sens. Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, and Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, is a step back from language in the broader bill from Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, which would have expanded checks to virtually all private sales.
Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who was originally part of the negotiations, said the Toomey-Manchin compromise goes too far. He said he would offer a proposal this week that would allow potential firearms transferees to run self-checks through online portals and subsequently be granted temporary 30-day permits that could be used for any private gun transfers.
Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said it was doubtful that his group could accept the Coburn proposal even if the Toomey-Manchin plan fails to win the 60 votes needed to overcome any filibuster that could doom the bill.
Senators who support gun control are likely to face the same choice. For now, they are hoping for full victory rather than settling for Mr. Coburn’s plan.
Mr. Manchin complimented Mr. Coburn for his input and said Monday “there’s maybe going to be a day” to visit Mr. Coburn’s proposal, but that the one he is co-sponsoring addresses the Oklahoman’s concerns about convenience.
“It was supposed to be to help the convenience of rural America, rural Oklahoma, rural West Virginia of not having to go to” a federally licensed dealer, he said. “Well, guess what? In our bill, no personal transactions have to be done, so a portal’s not needed because you don’t need to do the background check unless you go to the gun show. The gun store’s current law, or if you buy on the Internet commercial sales.”
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said they hadn’t seen Mr. Coburn’s proposal.
“But I am going to support the strongest bills that we can get through here,” Mr. Cardin said.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the advocacy group co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has begun a push for the Toomey-Manchin amendment, targeting a handful of senators from both parties with ad campaigns. It pulled ads targeting Mr. Toomey after he helped introduce the legislation.
“Our bipartisan coalition of more than 900 mayors strongly supports this bill and looks forward to working with other leaders, including Senators Schumer and Kirk who have worked tirelessly on this issue, to do all we can to ensure its passage,” Mr. Bloomberg said recently.
Conversely, the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.Org launched an ad campaign this week targeting six Senate Democrats and prodding them to support background check legislation as well as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
- Obama urged to enforce ban on importing military-style firearms
- Va. Senate approves Medicaid expansion, but budget stands no chance in House
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- John Edwards back in court this time as a lawyer for Va. boy's malpractice case
- Pentagon extends deployment of fighter jets to Poland
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.