- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
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 2013 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- Scientists could unlock mystery of life beyond Earth within a decade
- House Democrats give grudging support to 10-year gun ban extension
- Extending plastic gun ban just first step?
- Obama hints at staying in D.C. after leaving office
Latest Blog Entries
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Doctors say profound new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Allen West warns Obamas backdoor gun control is moving forward
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.