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2 senators tackle background-check deal

Published: Mon, April 8, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Two influential senators, one from each party, are working on an agreement that could expand background checks on firearms sales to include gun shows and online transactions, Senate aides said Sunday.

If completed, the effort could represent a major breakthrough in the effort by President Barack Obama and his allies to restrict guns after last December’s massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., could nail down an accord early this week, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private talks. With the Senate returning today from a two-week recess, the chamber’s debate on gun-control legislation could begin as soon as Tuesday, though it might be delayed if the lawmakers need more time to complete a deal, the aides said.

The potential deal, which aides cautioned still might change, would exempt transactions between relatives and temporary transfers for hunters and sportsmen, they said.

Manchin is a moderate who touts an A rating from the National Rifle Association, which has opposed Obama’s gun control drive. Toomey has solid conservative credentials and was elected to the Senate two years ago with tea party support from his Democratic-leaning state.

A united front by the two lawmakers would make it easier for gun control advocates to attract support from moderate Democrats who have been wary of supporting the effort and from Republicans who have largely opposed it so far.

With conservative Republicans threatening a filibuster, Democrats will need 60 of the chamber’s 100 votes to prevail. There are 53 Democrats and two Democratic-leaning independents in the Senate.

Federal background checks are required only for transactions handled by the roughly 55,000 federally licensed firearms dealers; private sales such as gun-show or online purchases are exempt.

Also high on Congress’ agenda is immigration, where a decisive moment is approaching.


1dmacker(287 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

If this compromise is designed to eliminate the terrible tragedies at Columbine, Aurora, Tucson and Sandy Hook then it is worthless. Most online transactions are either from or through Federal firearms dealers as required by Federal law, for handguns. All but a very small number of guns purchased at gun shows are also processed through Federal gun dealers at the show. This is done to protect both the buyer and seller from being ripped off. I see an exemption for family members, in this compromise, but no mention of friends and neighbors.
The change to background checks that would have an impact on the above tragedies is entering those persons who are deemed to be mentally ill enough to be a danger to themselves and others and I see no provision for that unless they have been adjudicated by a court which is already covered by Federal law.
Those persons who have committed all of the mass murders would still be able to obtain guns.
I'm not against background checks for the purchase of guns. I'm against the government having a data base of all gun owners. Like last years tax returns if you believe the government creates a record of your gun purchase and your personal data and then throws it away you are naive.
"I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you", has cost many a person their freedom.
I'll trust my Government when they prove they are trustworthy and that has not happened.
Take one look at Washington and the blatant corruption. Can we trust them with anything?

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2SeriouslyNow(192 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Online transactions from a licensed gun dealer are required to have a background check at the purchaser's dealer. Online purchases of firearms that are not FROM a dealer are considered a private sale and do not have any background check. Check with your local gun rights group to learn how to purchase without a background check online (hint: it's all about carefully wording your gun for sale - so it doesn't look like a gun for sale)

Nothing that is done in the future will have an impact on the tragedies that have already occurred. What we do in the future may have an impact on future gun violence.

Republican senators (Graham etc) are making sure that a person has to have been adjudicated, with a full and complete hearing. They do NOT want a person to be denied a firearm because their psychiatrist says that they are a danger to society (as in the Tucson case).

You said" all but a very small number of guns" are background checked at gun shows. It only takes one, so the percentage is irrelevant.

Background checks are NOT done at gun shows to prevent anyone from being ripped off. If you think that then you've don't know why background checks are done. The reason that background checks are done by dealers either in their store or at a gun show is because the law requires the dealer to do so. If he fails to, he will lose this license and be prosecuted.

I'll bet that your also against the government have you on their citizens database. - After all what business is it of theirs!!!

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