U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) tonight posted the bill text of The Public Safety And Second Amendment Rights Protection Act that he and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced yesterday…
Purpose: To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.
The underlying bill that will be considered by the Senate is S. 649, the so-called “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013”. This bill would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by law-abiding citizens, requiring friends, neighbors and many family members to get government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. It is expected that a number of amendments will be offered to S. 649, including a ban on commonly and lawfully-owned firearms and magazines and language to criminalize the private transfer of firearms through an expansion of background checks. This includes the misguided “compromise” proposal drafted by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
NRA’s position on these proposals is unmistakably clear—we are unequivocally opposed to S. 649, the amendments mentioned above, and any other anti-gun amendments. As we have noted previously, expanding background checks at gun shows or elsewhere will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools. Given the importance of these issues, votes on all anti-gun amendments or proposals will be considered in NRA’s future candidate evaluations.
The White House says Thursday’s motion to proceed on gun violence legislation in the Senate is all evidence needed that President Obama’s strategy of consistently engaging the American people on gun control after Newtown has worked…
“The president has no doubt whatsoever that the voices of the Newtown families and the voices of Americans across the country that were raised this week as part of an effort to urge the Senate to move forward and not block procedurally progress on this legislation had a positive effect,” he said. “This is an important milestone. but it is an early milestone. And there is no question that challenges will continue to be placed in the way of making progress on passing common sense legislation to reduce gun violence. But we are obviously very pleased with today’s vote.”…
“The president has said all along, and you heard him on Monday, that Congress will do the right thing if the American people speak up,” Carney said. “If they raise their voices, if they make their views known. As he said then, it’s not about him, it’s about the American people and what the right, common-sense thing is to do when it comes to taking action to reduce gun violence.”
“With the vote we take today, we are turning the page. Against the NRA’s dominance, we are turning the page to do what is right by these families and by the American people,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference with the family members.
Turning to the families, Schumer said Newtown was the reason the Senate acted. “The only reason we are turning the page is because of you. You spoke to Congress. You spoke to the American people. We looked in your eyes, we saw your loss. We saw the hole where your child, your sibling, your parent used to be.”
GOP leadership is currently weighing four options for handling the gun bill, according to sources close to leadership.
The first is to send a Senate-passed bill to the House Judiciary Committee for a markup — the panel would very likely take its time and gut the bill. Second is to ask that committee to draft its own background checks bill, which would almost certainly create a product that hews closely to the NRA’s specifications. House leadership is likely to give the committee wide berth on whether gun control laws need to be bolstered.
Boehner could also completely ignore the Senate bill — an unlikely outcome, aides say. Or he could move it straight to the House floor — that would happen only if the situation gets too politically hot for House Republicans. So far, that is not likely to happen: Just a handful of Republicans, most prominently Rep. Peter King of New York, have been supportive of Toomey and Manchin’s compromise.
Wednesday morning on “Starting Point,” anchors John Berman and Christine Roman hosted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), one of the two senators responsible for the compromise legislation on background checks…
Berman: Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, you’ve been working around the clock for a compromise deal. I think you have a very busy few weeks ahead of you still.
Manchin: We appreciate your support, too, this is very, very important.
Vice President Joe Biden gave an interview to MSNBC’s Morning Joe on gun control and heaped praise on host Joe Scarborough saying that he and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg deserved rewards for changing the gun debate in America.
“Hey Joe, thank you. You have changed the debate in America. The two guys who deserve an award, if anything gets done around here, is you and Michael Bloomberg” Biden said.