Manchin, Toomey close to deal on “expanded” background checks; Update: Deal reached

posted at 8:41 am on April 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

“Expanded” in this case is … a term of art, as you’ll see shortly.  As Harry Reid tries to find the votes to have a vote on his gun-control package in the Senate this week or next, two key players say they are close to an agreement on the central piece of the bill. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says that he and Pat Toomey (R-PA) will have a proposal on expanding background checks for gun sales at shows and on the Internet. The package will contain a requirement by the sellers to keep records of all background checks, but apparently not a federal registry.

CBS is selling this as a major milestone:

As the Senate gears up for the first fight over new gun legislation in two decades, Republicans do not appear to have the votes they need to execute a planned filibuster on Thursday and a bipartisan breakthrough is likely, according to one Democrat.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, claims he is close to a deal with Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey on a plan to expand background checks to cover firearm purchases made at gun shows and online, a measure that 90 percent of Americans say they support. Under the proposed law, gun sellers would be required to keep records of those checks to help police track gun crimes.

Is this a major step forward for gun-control legislation, though? Roll Call also reported this morning on the effort, which actually walks back Reid’s current bill by eliminating the requirement for background checks on private sales and transfers:

The plan is expected to stop short of language currently in the bill that would require background checks on nearly all gun sales, including between private parties. Instead, Toomey aides said, the proposal would require background checks for private sales at gun shows and on the Internet, two areas that are currently exempt.

Nevertheless, support for the plan by Toomey, a reliable conservative with a top rating from the National Rifle Association, would be a major victory for Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama, who have stepped up their calls in recent days to ensure that criminals and the mentally ill do not have easy access to guns.

One quick note about Internet sales. While current law technically doesn’t require a background check for sales over the Internet, it does require a federally-licensed firearms dealer to broker the sale — and that means a background check for the purchaser.  At least to my understanding, all this changes is that the background check will be explicitly required.  That’s also been my understanding about gun-show sales, although I believe that area is a little grayer.

In a sense, a Manchin-Toomey proposal along these lines would kneecap the current push from Senate Democrats, and merely firm up the status quo.  Maybe that’s why the filibuster threat seems to be fading:

Democrats are confident they have the votes to bring gun control legislation to the Senate floor this week. But getting the votes to pass the bill later this month will be much harder.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not yet conducted a formal whip count, but at least eight Republican senators have said they will not attempt to block an effort to bring up the measure, a senior Democratic aide said.

Fifty-five senators caucus with the Democrats, and Reid acknowledged he might lose a few votes on his side of the aisle. During his weekly press conference Tuesday, Reid declined to make any bold predictions. Asked if he had the votes, Reid responded, “I don’t know.”

Behind the scenes, Reid and his lieutenants are convinced they have the 60 votes necessary to start the debate on the floor.

“He’s always been confident that he can get 60 votes,” the aide said.

At this point, Republicans may figure they won’t lose much in a floor vote anyway, so why take a big political hit in a filibuster?  Let Democrats go on record voting for gun control and assault-weapons bans, as long as the background-check “expansion” that ends up passing doesn’t intrude on private sales and transfers, and doesn’t result in gun registries.

Update: The Washington Post reports that the deal has been reached — and that it falls short of the current demand from the White House:

A bipartisan group of senators has struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales — whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks.

The proposed agreement would be more stringent than current law, which requires checks only when purchases are made through a licensed dealer, but less than originally sought by President Obama and congressional Democrats, who were seeking to expand background checks to nearly every kind of sale.

The agreement should secure enough bipartisan support for the Senate to proceed to debate on an overarching bill that would expand background checks, make gun trafficking a federal crime for the first time and bolster federal funding for school security plans. Senate Democratic leaders have said they will permit senators of both parties to introduce amendments to the measure.

That’s still pretty weak tea from where Democrats started.


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But, don’t worry. These are ‘common sense’ proposals!!!

Resist We Much on April 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM

That’s why politicians get paid The Big Bucks(TM), and it would be disrespectful to make them take a pay cut because of sequester(Reg. US Pat. Off.).

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Dear leader has shown leadership on this issue
-msdnc talking head

Already getting credit for a deal that he had nothing to do it…..already giving him a w for this

cmsinaz on April 10, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Dear leader has shown leadership on this issue
-msdnc talking head

Already getting credit for a deal that he had nothing to do it…..already giving him a w for this

cmsinaz on April 10, 2013 at 12:08 PM

If liberal talking heads didn’t have their delusions, they’d have no thoughts at all.

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Do, once again our liberties get compromised for the good of all…

Face it…leftists are more passionate about their ideologies than we are of ours. Registering guns as a prelude to confiscation? Responsible regulation of a constitutional right.

Not killing babies once they’re outside the womb and breathing on their own? An infringement of a woman’s civil liberties granted by the court in 73…

Skywise on April 10, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Tru dat Liam

cmsinaz on April 10, 2013 at 12:20 PM

If anyone’s senator votes for ANY form of GUN CONTROL, let him/her know that you won’t forgive him/her. Spend your time writing your paper and find some good name to run against him. Make sure that the good name you find to run against the senator does not have the same name as any other national figure, such as Clinton, Obama, Kennedy, McCain, Bush, or any other political oligarch.

Old Country Boy on April 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Face it…leftists are more passionate about their ideologies than we are of ours.

Skywise on April 10, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Don’t be too sure of that. I have all the firearms I want. Not a ‘collection’, to be sure. But I’m satisfied with the handful I choose to own; it’s a nice balance legally bought decades ago.

I simply refuse to comply with their new ‘laws’. Passion doesn’t have to always be public, I believe.

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Will Gabby and her husband still be able to keep their guns? She is after all mentally defective.

meci on April 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Why should I continue to vote for Republicans? It’s a serious question. What does supporting the party get us? Under Bush, it got us huge deficits, more entitlements, greater Federal control over education, wiretapping…and finally it got us Obama. Our “conservative” party has served up MSNBC’s favorite Repub, McCain, and socialized medicine architect Romney as presidential candidates! Now, any conservative influences in leadership have been stripped away by Boehner’s gang of “moderates,” there has been no serious effort to repeal Obamacare, and now we’re about to get gun control! It seems to me that I am almost never offered a choice between a Republican and a Democrat: they keep letting us “choose” between two Democrats. Do we want the very very liberal D, or the slightly less liberal D who has a deceptive “R” by his name? I used to figure, “well, I have to go vote to at least keep the Dem out.” Now, I have come to feel that that is not possible. ANY vote I cast is for a Democrat and will benefit their agenda. So I ask again, why should I support this party, whose only selling point is that it will try to destroy the economy, family, religion, and civil liberties a little more slowly than the other guys?

unclejack on April 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Will Gabby and her husband still be able to keep their guns? She is after all mentally defective.

meci on April 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

How DARE you question a victim? /

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Why should I continue to vote for Republicans? …

unclejack on April 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I have asked myself the same question. In the past there have always been a few issues that the Republicans were standing “athwart history, yelling stop”.

Fenris on April 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

So I ask again, why should I support this party…?

unclejack on April 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Right along with you. But I answered that very same question last time around. And that answer is, “No more, not ever again.”

I may lose politically the rest of my life for my votes going to more Conservative candidates of other Parties, but that’s okay. My grandchildren might have a better future, if my politics catch on.

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Resist We Much on April 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Well since I generally could be charged with several felonies a day anyway what is one more. I teach my grandsons how to use guns on my little ranch in the outback. That isn’t going to change just because the feral government wants to pass a law that won’t work.

chemman on April 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

True. By the royal “we” I meant out political leadership.(so-called) :)

Obama happily blocks laws restricting late term abortions and is applauded in the press because he supports liberties

But when our guys try to draw the line and do the same thing they melt like ice in the sun.

Skywise on April 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM

I take great solace that i never filled out a yellow form on any of my guns… if I had any guns…..

44Magnum on April 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

At least this makes it easier to decide who the targets are if and when the shooting starts.

Wino on April 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

If Cornyn votes for this, he’ll never get another vote from us.

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Will Gabby and her husband still be able to keep their guns? She is after all mentally defective.

meci on April 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

How DARE you question a victim? /

Liam on April 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Just suggesting a question that needs to be asked on the floor of the Senate.

meci on April 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I like how both Manchin and Toomey say they support National Concealed Carry but didn’t put it in the bill.

Also, the only bone gun owners get is “expanded” protections under the FOPA of 1986. A law that NY and NJ routinely violate while the Feds do nothing.

Spade on April 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Please join the Senate Conservatives Fund to add your name. Very simple to do, no address etc. Just a name. Short message from Rand Paul and they do ask for a donation if you can. No pressure.

Thanks to all that can help.

SCF is doing everything it can to win this important battle. In fact, we launched a national radio and television campaign yesterday to collect 1 million petitions urging the Senate to defend the 2nd Amendment. Please call 1-800-605-1755 to add your name to the petition.

http://www.senateconservativesfund.com

bluefox on April 10, 2013 at 1:12 PM

bluefox

Who is behind this fund?

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

SHALL

NOT

BE

INFRINGED!

TX-96 on April 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

unclejack @ 12:40 :

I agree. Most of the repubs are more demonrat than conservative. We need a new party to represent us. I feel like we are taxed without representation.

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

GAYS / GUNS / AMNESTY!!!!

Must the Ruling class in D.C. MUST DISARM American citizens before they really start looting the country financially?

Let 20 million illegals vote, turn Texas blue by 2014 and collapse the traditional definition of the family……….and…….disarm them.

If you’re in the Congress and you’re considering supporting this INFRINGEMENT of the 2nd AMENDMENT……….you are a TRAITOR!!

PappyD61 on April 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

bluefox

Who is behind this fund?

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

This fund was started several years ago by Senator DeMint. IIRC, I signed up in 2009. They find Conservative Candidates to support. People send them donations and they keep the site updated to how much they raised and how much they have given the Candidates. Now that Jim DeMint is at Heritage, Matt Hoskins has taken over.

I have never heard any complaints about it. What Matt Hoskins has done is expand the fund and advises on current issues, such as Gun Control. Jim DeMint didn’t do as much as Matt is now doing. I appreciate the email updates of current events and action plans he includes, i.e. phone #’s & fax #’s etc.

I see the blockquote is backwards?

bluefox on April 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

AMEN PappyD61 !!!!

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

The package will contain a requirement by the sellers to keep records of all background checks, but apparently not a federal registry.

If anyone is keeping the records after the background check is made, then it only takes one Executive Order to grab them for the feds.
(Which they appear to be doing anyway, in some cases illegally.)

Also, how does any law enforcement agency look up a weapon used in a crime, unless all of the records are in a single data-base? What do they do now?

AesopFan on April 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

…..and over at YAHOO News…..they are going after Palin.

http://www.inquisitr.com/609812/sarah-palin-angers-elon-musk-by-calling-his-companys-electric-car-a-loser/

Sarah Palin apparently doesn’t mean too much to Elon Musk.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, has run into some criticism from conservatives for his company’s electric car. The government-backed Tesla reportedly has some expensive battery problems that costs the car owner $40,000 to repair.

The situation has led to criticism from the business world and some politicians, including former vice presidential candidate and onetime Alaska governor Sarah Palin. In a Facebook post that attacked Tesla Motors as well as Fisker Automotive, which announced it was laying off three-quarters of its employees despite getting $200 million from the Department of Energy.

“Once again, the American public lost when the Obama administration attempted to pick ‘winners and losers’ in the free market,” Palin wrote.

Sarah Palin ripped into Fisker Automotive and also knocked Elon Musk’s company, writing: “This losing tax-subsidized venture joins other past losers like the Obama-subsidized Volt that gets 40 miles per battery charge, or like the Obama-subsidized Tesla that turns into a ‘brick’ when the battery completely discharges and then costs $40,000 to repair.

“This is really just the latest manifestation of the administration’s crony capitalism as their green energy buddies benefit from this atrocious waste of taxpayer money. Americans really need to get outraged by these wasteful ventures. As we’ve seen time and time again, We the People are always stuck subsidizing the left’s ‘losers.’ ”

Sarah Palin and her Facebook rant didn’t mean much to Elon Musk. In a sarcastic tweet Musk responded to Palin’s claims.

Sarah Palin and other conservatives been a target of Elon Musk before. When the Tesla Model S was named Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year back in November, he reminded everyone that Mitt Romney once said the government’s investment in Tesla was a “loser.”

PappyD61 on April 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Thanks bluefox. Sounds like a good group to join.

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

God damn them all.

All who are against the Bill of Rights, spontaneously combust.

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/traitor

traitor [ˈtreɪtə]

n
a person who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause or trust, etc.

PappyD61 on April 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Everything you have said is 100% correct, but it would never be interpreted that way by any modern legislature or court. Heck, we can’t even get them to recognize the fact that the Bill of Rights means what it says, or that the federal government is limited to enumerated powers. If you were to repeal the 2nd Amendment, but then argue that you weren’t actually “revoking” the right to bear arms, you’d be laughed out of court.

Shump on April 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Yes, that is the sad state of affairs within our legislative, judicial and executive branches. I wonder every day if any of them have ever really read and understand that great document.

The funny thing is, in Heller, they affirmed what Miller had previously decided, that ‘arms’ were those associated with the ‘militia’ or military.

Heller:

(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individualrights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

Miller:

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a “shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length” at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158.

Miller sad nothing about ‘lawful purposes’, only that a shotgun with a barrel of shorter than eighteen inches, was, in their opinion AT THE TIME, ABSENCE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, was not a mlitia weapon. The only reaso Miller came to that conclusion, both defendents were dead, and the attorney representing them declined to argue on their behalf because they were DEAD. So, no one argued that, in actuality, short barreled shotguns had been in use, along with Tommy Guns. The shotgun of WWI was 20 inches, but it could have been argued, by just a casual study of the literature, that it was ‘part of ordinay MILITARY equipment.’

Miller needs to be revisited, and amended. The SC is just going past Miller like it is settle, it isn’t. Military weapons change, so so does our Right to bear the NEW military weapons for militia service. That is why, with a good lawyer, these unconstitutional laws will be squashed in court.

Patriot Vet on April 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The administration that brought you Cash for Clunkers, which cost the taxpayer $24K per car in administrative costs, to give customers a $4K savings; That said E Verify cannot work; That took over the student loan industry and made a mess out of it, requiring that they sell some of the work back out to evil Sallie Mae…etc.

They think they can conduct background checks. Then why can’t they verify that people are working illegally and tell the employers?

Any check the federal government can do for guns they can do for any other benefit or cause, and I would suggest they fix E Verify, and when it is working, then they can see if they have the right gun owner.

Fleuries on April 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

C-Span 2 (Senate) is on TV. Are we still going to filibuster?
Banner says Today-Motion to proceed to Gun Legislation

Sen. Imhofe just finished speaking.

bluefox on April 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

If no second the right or now privilege would revert to states much like it now does for alcohol and tobacco. It would not prohibit firearms at a state level and I would think that some states like NY, CA, MA, CT and other firearm unfriendly ones would ban firearm ownership while others like TX and UT may expand on it. I really don’t think that firearms can be banned at the federal level but with the feds not following the law these days who really knows.

Dr. Frank Enstine on April 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I agree, some states would try and ban all weapons. That would be their right under states rights. But then you would have a mass exodus of people to states that have a right to bear arms. Those states that ban guns would then lose revenue (taxes), and in turn, would lose representation within the congress. I am going to retire on the Wyoming/Utah border, way up in the mountains. My in-laws already have 4 acres backing up to the national forest, and they are the only ones that are there year round.

Patriot Vet on April 10, 2013 at 1:48 PM

I agree. Most of the repubs are more demonrat than conservative. We need a new party to represent us. I feel like we are taxed without representation.

johnny reb on April 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

We’re not even being represented, LOL I know what you mean tho. I told one R’s aide today to tell the Senator we’re going to vote them out by voting for the Democrats:-) Put the fear of God in them since they fear losing their seats more than anything else.

bluefox on April 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Patriot Vet on April 10, 2013 at 1:48 PM

That depends on whether or not you believe in incorporation. If you do then no, no state can ban all weapons.

NotCoach on April 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I trust that the NRA will immediately be announcing that Toomey and Manchin have been downgraded to an NRA “F” rating and the Tea Party will be repealing its support for Toomey?

Sandybourne on April 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Miller needs to be revisited, and amended. The SC is just going past Miller like it is settle, it isn’t. Military weapons change, so so does our Right to bear the NEW military weapons for militia service. That is why, with a good lawyer, these unconstitutional laws will be squashed in court.

Patriot Vet on April 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM

It has, in large part, in Heller.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Toomey aides said, the proposal would require background checks for private sales at gun shows and on the Internet, two areas that are currently exempt.

The Journolisters have a new false narrative. Private sales made at gun shows are subject to exactly the same regulations as private sales anywhere else. It is still illegal to sell to any convicted felon or other disenfranchised person, and illegal to sell to anyone from out of state. Some state laws are more strict.

Internet sales are also regulated and require background checks unless the seller and purchaser reside in the same state, and all other restrictions apply. It is a federal felony to send a gun directly to an out of state resident; it has to go to an FFL in the buyer’s state and the buyer must pick it up and undergo a background check. Period.

I began noticing this new BS narrative about internet sales not requiring background checks just last week. Once it came out of Chris Wallace, I don’t recall the other, but I remember thinking a new memo went out and we would see more of these lies.

Here it is again. Who is coordinating this BS?

novaculus on April 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

So these 2 men get to decide for the entire country?

lonestar1 on April 10, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Is this where you blame SoCons?

hawkdriver on April 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM

No, this is where I blame progressives/socialists/faux conservatives like Pat Toomey

But there is plenty of blame to be heaped on so-called “social conservatives,” who are nothing but progressives in their policy agendas.

mountainaires on April 10, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Projection.

Since the social conservatives are pretty well documented as the most consistently conservative, it seems like those who are merely “fiscal conservatives” are the ones much closer to progressives.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Valueless jerks!

rplat on April 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Time to vote them all out starting with Toomey.

jdun on April 10, 2013 at 3:39 PM

You don’t think there is already a de facto gun registration going on? The cat-stomping, miscarriage-casing, burn-em-alive, jack-booted thugs at the BATF already go into gun dealers and copy all their Form 4473′s in blatant disregard for the law. Universal background checks would only make it easier with a myriad of excuses why they need to collect that information on legal gun owners. When it comes to violating your rights and liberties, the BATF is second to no one in this country.

tballard on April 10, 2013 at 4:57 PM

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