A compromise gun control bill that requires buyers undergo background checks at gun shows and before online sales without imposing intrusive federal record-keeping regulations on private transactions has been cobbled together by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
The duo unveiled their proposed bill, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, during an April 10 press conference. It could be introduced onto the Senate floor as soon as Thursday, April 11.
The proposed bill supplants Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) “Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013,” which was facing certain stalemate and a GOP filibuster that threatened to bury it before it ever reached the floor.
The primary point of contention with Schumer’s bill was its requirement that the federal government retain records for all private gun sales when such record-keeping is prohibited by the 1986 Firearms Protection Act, which requires the FBI to destroy any record of a successful background check within 24 hours.
To address those concerns, the Manchin/Toomey Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act explicitly bans the federal government from creating a national firearms registry, and imposes serious criminal penalties (a felony with up to 15 years in prison) on any person who misuses or illegally retains firearms records.
The proposed bill would require states and the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the violently mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
It would also create a commission to study the causes of mass violence in the United States, looking at guns, school safety, mental health, violent media and video games.
The NRA immediately issued a statement dismissing the proposed compromise bill, noting that while “the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘universal’ background check agenda is a positive development,” it only applies to lawful gun owners.
“Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools,” the NRA said. “We have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows. We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone.”
**For more, go to: **
— Toomey & Manchin – The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act