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Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill Fails in Senate, Grassley-Cruz Bill Up Next?

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April 17, 2013
Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill Fails in Senate, Grassley-Cruz Bill Up Next? - 11

If you're keeping score at home, here's what your proposed background check bill scorecard should look like:

- Sen. Charles Schumer's (D-NY) Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013 struck out before reaching the floor.

- Sens. Joe Manchin's (D-WV) and Pat Toomey's (R-Pa.) Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act failed to gain the 60 votes necessary to break a GOP filibuster in a 54-46 roll call ballot on April 17.

- Next up: The proposed Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2013 co-sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
               
According to Lucy Madison of CBS News, even before Wednesday's 4 p.m. vote on the Manchin/Toomey compromise bill, Grassley and Cruz offered their own proposal.
               
Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told CBS News that the new proposal would serve as a "sensible alternative" to the current measure and would "effectively addresses problems that we've seen without burdening law-abiding citizens."
               
"We ensure the Second Amendment is protected while taking reasonable steps to strengthen our communities," Grassley told reporters at a press conference unveiling the proposal.
               
Of course, if the Manchin/Toomey compromise bill failed to muster sufficient support for a gun-buyer background check bill that's supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans, it's doubtful the Grassley/Cruz bill could garner the needed 60 votes either.
               
The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act crafted by Manchin and Toomey failed in a 54-46 vote, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster of the measure.
               
The measure appeared doomed earlier in the day when Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) announced they would vote against it, raising the number of opponents to 43. The last three undecideds -- Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Max Baucus -- voted against the bill during role call ballot.
               
For more, go to:
-- Gun Bill Background Check Amendment, Other Key Provisions Fail In Senate Vote
               
-- DONE: Toomey-Manchin Background Check Fails to Garner 60 Votes
               
-- Manchin-Toomey gun compromise headed for defeat
               
-- As Manchin-Toomey amendment falters, GOP offers alternate gun proposal
               
-- Senate gun deal likely to fail

Comments (11)

Top Rated
All Comments
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

It's impossible to expand beyond the court or legal system.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

schmakenzie, Most of us are aware adjudicated mental heath issues are reported and have been ever since background checks were started. The issue is the expansion and how far it should go. The vast majority agree adjudicated cases; those proven in a court or other legal hearing should be part of a background check.
later,
charlie

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I posted below because it looked like a couple of you were unaware of the mental health gun laws. There has been restrictions for years. There is more to it than my cut and paste, but at least you know stuff exists.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness, and requires licensed dealers (but not unlicensed sellers) to request a background check prior to transfer of a firearm to screen out prohibited purchasers.1 However, federal law does not require states to make mental health information available to the federal or state agencies that perform background checks,2 and many states fail to report to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) all relevant mental health information necessary for a background check to identify persons who are prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Between November 1999 and November 2007, the number of disqualifying mental health records in the NICS Mental Defective File increased from about 90,000 to about 400,000.3 However, the U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that there should be at least 2.7 million such records in the database.4 Hence, the total number of records currently reported to NICS is still a small fraction of the number of persons prohibited from purchasing firearms due to a history of mental illness. In 2005, of the total number of prospective purchasers who were denied following an FBI background check, only 0.5% were denied for mental health reasons.5

When mental health information is submitted to NICS, it can be effective at preventing firearm transfers by licensed dealers to the mentally ill. During the first three years after Virginia began submitting certain mental health information to NICS, Virginia’s disqualifying mental health records resulted in 438 denials of firearm purchases.6

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I must confess that I don't know charlie, it's a tough issue, and you bring up some good points. I just think the mental health side should at least be discussed, and nobody is doing that right now. I think at the very least people who have been diagnosed with violent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. should not able to get guns, that's just common sense IMHO. I also think a closer look needs to be taken at gun ownership if you live with someone with who has been diagnosed with one of the aforementioned illnesses, and in those cases possibly requiring you to have a gun safe if you want to own firearms, or maybe even making you keep the guns somewhere outside the home. Something like that could've maybe, and I stress maybe, prevented the Newtown shooting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

How do propose to check mental health huntfishtrap? What is a health issue that would preclude someone from owning a firearm? Having taken an anti depressant sometime during one's life? An "extreme" political position? A loner who chooses to hunt?
So when a background check is done all our health records are searched?
Once a law is passed the power goes to those who define, write the regulations and enforce them. Be careful what you wish for when it comes to laws. Every law carries unintended consequences.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wathiesjr wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I really belive we need to continue to view this as a civil liberties issue. "a gun-buyer background check bill that's supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans" really means little. We don't necessarily live by majority rules. Consider slavery and polling Americans, "We can prevent a devastating civil war. Just let each State decide" as some States argued. But civil liberties are too important. A gun registry, as argued to vote against, would exist. I am a Marylander and I bought a hunting license. Thinking that the State would keep my info private, I was contacted on my personal email, which they collect, by our Governor's office asking me to support his gun ban legislation. The Attorney General's office stated to me that the State could use my personal information collected as required from my hunting license. So, no information collected by the government is safe and secure. The question to ask as well is, "Would this have made a difference?" I think no.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I think they should work harder to enforce the background checks they already have, and prosecute violators more aggressively, before they even think about adding more/new laws to the mix. And then of course there's the mental health side, which no one seems to want to touch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I hope no one misunderstands me because my heart goes out to the Newtown families, and the people in Boston as well. But the current background check system has not been enforced strictly and a new one may not even be needed. The other thing is it will only impact the people that follow every law on the book having to do with gun regulation. Think about this, every fee, surcharge, and handling charge that we pay to get concealed carry permits, permits to acquire a firearm levied by the some states is a tax. At what point do gun owners begin to say it is too much trouble to just own a fire arm? I believe that is the purpose of all these things. To make it too much trouble to even own a gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Happy news indeed. The way the background checks and mental health records were to be incorporated clearly would lead to gun confiscation. Much like what is happening in NY now with police visiting doctor offices, combing through medical records to find those who were ever treated with so much as an anti depressant. Police then "visit" the "suspect's" home to confiscate all their guns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

This is good news for me. I'm sure this isn't over yet but it is a step in the right direction. Gun owners are under a constant bombardment of misinformation without a break by the mainstream media. Enough is enough!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

This is good news for me. I'm sure this isn't over yet but it is a step in the right direction. Gun owners are under a constant bombardment of misinformation without a break by the mainstream media. Enough is enough!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I hope no one misunderstands me because my heart goes out to the Newtown families, and the people in Boston as well. But the current background check system has not been enforced strictly and a new one may not even be needed. The other thing is it will only impact the people that follow every law on the book having to do with gun regulation. Think about this, every fee, surcharge, and handling charge that we pay to get concealed carry permits, permits to acquire a firearm levied by the some states is a tax. At what point do gun owners begin to say it is too much trouble to just own a fire arm? I believe that is the purpose of all these things. To make it too much trouble to even own a gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wathiesjr wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I really belive we need to continue to view this as a civil liberties issue. "a gun-buyer background check bill that's supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans" really means little. We don't necessarily live by majority rules. Consider slavery and polling Americans, "We can prevent a devastating civil war. Just let each State decide" as some States argued. But civil liberties are too important. A gun registry, as argued to vote against, would exist. I am a Marylander and I bought a hunting license. Thinking that the State would keep my info private, I was contacted on my personal email, which they collect, by our Governor's office asking me to support his gun ban legislation. The Attorney General's office stated to me that the State could use my personal information collected as required from my hunting license. So, no information collected by the government is safe and secure. The question to ask as well is, "Would this have made a difference?" I think no.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness, and requires licensed dealers (but not unlicensed sellers) to request a background check prior to transfer of a firearm to screen out prohibited purchasers.1 However, federal law does not require states to make mental health information available to the federal or state agencies that perform background checks,2 and many states fail to report to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) all relevant mental health information necessary for a background check to identify persons who are prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Between November 1999 and November 2007, the number of disqualifying mental health records in the NICS Mental Defective File increased from about 90,000 to about 400,000.3 However, the U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that there should be at least 2.7 million such records in the database.4 Hence, the total number of records currently reported to NICS is still a small fraction of the number of persons prohibited from purchasing firearms due to a history of mental illness. In 2005, of the total number of prospective purchasers who were denied following an FBI background check, only 0.5% were denied for mental health reasons.5

When mental health information is submitted to NICS, it can be effective at preventing firearm transfers by licensed dealers to the mentally ill. During the first three years after Virginia began submitting certain mental health information to NICS, Virginia’s disqualifying mental health records resulted in 438 denials of firearm purchases.6

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I posted below because it looked like a couple of you were unaware of the mental health gun laws. There has been restrictions for years. There is more to it than my cut and paste, but at least you know stuff exists.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Happy news indeed. The way the background checks and mental health records were to be incorporated clearly would lead to gun confiscation. Much like what is happening in NY now with police visiting doctor offices, combing through medical records to find those who were ever treated with so much as an anti depressant. Police then "visit" the "suspect's" home to confiscate all their guns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I think they should work harder to enforce the background checks they already have, and prosecute violators more aggressively, before they even think about adding more/new laws to the mix. And then of course there's the mental health side, which no one seems to want to touch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I must confess that I don't know charlie, it's a tough issue, and you bring up some good points. I just think the mental health side should at least be discussed, and nobody is doing that right now. I think at the very least people who have been diagnosed with violent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. should not able to get guns, that's just common sense IMHO. I also think a closer look needs to be taken at gun ownership if you live with someone with who has been diagnosed with one of the aforementioned illnesses, and in those cases possibly requiring you to have a gun safe if you want to own firearms, or maybe even making you keep the guns somewhere outside the home. Something like that could've maybe, and I stress maybe, prevented the Newtown shooting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

It's impossible to expand beyond the court or legal system.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

How do propose to check mental health huntfishtrap? What is a health issue that would preclude someone from owning a firearm? Having taken an anti depressant sometime during one's life? An "extreme" political position? A loner who chooses to hunt?
So when a background check is done all our health records are searched?
Once a law is passed the power goes to those who define, write the regulations and enforce them. Be careful what you wish for when it comes to laws. Every law carries unintended consequences.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

schmakenzie, Most of us are aware adjudicated mental heath issues are reported and have been ever since background checks were started. The issue is the expansion and how far it should go. The vast majority agree adjudicated cases; those proven in a court or other legal hearing should be part of a background check.
later,
charlie

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)