Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania makes his final pitch for the
compromise background-check proposal on the Senate floor.
As expected, the watered-down Manchin-Toomey amendment to extend background checks on guy buyers to some private sales collided in the Senate with a Republican filibuster Wednesday afternoon.
The vote was 54-46, well short of the magic number needed to pass it under the rules. Thus did a minority reject a move that 86 percent of Americans said they support in the most recent poll.
Five Democrats voted against the amendment: Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Mark Begich of Alaska; and Max Baucus of Montana. Reid voted against for procedural reasons, so he can bring the proposal up in the future. Four Republicans voted for: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania; Mark Kirk of Illinois; Susan Collins of Maine; John McCain of Arizona.
In the gallery to watch the vote unfold were some families of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school massacre of December 14.
Currently, background checks are only carried out when federally licensed gun dealers make the sales. The amendment would have extended that to sales at gun shows, via the internet and advertised in any medium.
In formal debate today and arguments taking place over the past few months, many senators took the view that background checks cannot work without a federal gun registry. That's anathema to gun-rights advocates in and out of the Senate. As those arguments clearly indicate, they'd prefer to eliminate the background check law that currently exists even though they won't quite dare to admit that.
Comments are closed on this story.