Local News

Senate defeats expanded background checks for gun sales

WASHINGTON – An amendment to expand background check requirements to include most commercial sales failed Wednesday in the Senate, a significant setback to gun legislation developed in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.

The measure, negotiated by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), fell short of the 60 votes that it needed to be adopted under an agreement between the Senate’s leaders.

The defeat came despite intensive lobbying by Manchin and Toomey and a four-month campaign for stricter gun laws by the White House and activists, including family members of Newtown victims.

Manchin speaking to a near-empty chamber before the vote, criticized what he called a misinformation campaign from opponents, including the National Rifle Assn., the nation’s main gun lobby.

“I remember when the NRA used to feel a lot different about background checks, and it wasn’t all that long ago,” he said, calling their statement against his plan “a lie.” Manchin, who owns four guns and likes to hunt, had an “A” rating from the organization.

“I’ve never seen a perfect bill. I’m sure we can improve on this,” he said, but he added, “We made sure that the culture that we grew up with is protected and enhanced upon.”

The vote jeopardizes the larger gun package, which also includes measures to increase penalties for gun traffickers and spending on school safety measures. The existing bill includes a more stringent background check plan that Manchin and others have said they do not support.


7 Comments to “Senate defeats expanded background checks for gun sales”

    Ernie said:
    April 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Folks, this is good news but the battle for freedom in this country isn't over with. If you value your ability to protect your nation and your family–Vote these would-be Nazis out of office and keep them out!!

      Block Watcher said:
      April 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      I'm afraid the NRA is closer to the Nazis. Heil Wayne LaPierre !

    Block Watcher said:
    April 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Politicians have no courage, they're just office clerks for the oil industry, banking and gun lobbyists.

    Block Watcher said:
    April 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    We'll be voting the pro-gun flunkies out of office.

    Whatever said:
    April 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    A proud moment for the American people. Thats all I have to say.

    Anonymous said:
    April 18, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    A sad day for Washington was Inauguration Day 2013. Obama is a sorry excuse for a politician

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