Gun control advocacy groups are growing increasingly concerned that Senate Democrats are relaxing background check requirements to excess while hammering out its proposed firearm legislation.
The groups claim that Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia are looking “to exempt private gun sales between friends and acquaintances from record-keeping requirements that now only cover licensed gun dealers,” according to The Hill.
“Everyone supports background checks except for NRA leadership,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
“I think we should be tough on this deal,” he said. “If the vote fails and a legislator votes down background checks, there’s hell down to pay.”
The reason for relaxing the rules has little to do with ideology, especially on Schumer’s part. It’s all about gaining GOP support, especially when considering that an increasing number of Republican senators are promising to filibuster any gun control legislation that comes to the floor.
The key player here is Oklahoma’s Sen. Tom Coburn, who has garnered a National Rifle Association A rating and has already indicated he won’t be on board if a private seller has to make and retain records of background checks.
“I don’t understand why record-keeping is a problem here, and I don’t understand how that proposal particularly helps us,” Horwitz said.
He emphasized the importance of background checks between friends because “criminals get their guns from their friends.”
That may very well be true, but it’s doubtful that if this provision were implemented the criminals would follow it — they’re criminals.
Also at issue is the president’s desire to see that a deal be struck resulting in a bill that he can sign — even one that’s watered down.
The Washington Examiner reported late Thursday afternoon the president’s concern over leaving a legacy — and a gun control bill is part of it.
This was confirmed Wednesday by senior White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer at a breakfast hosted by Politico at the Mayflower Hotel.
“What the president wants to sign is the strongest gun bill he can sign,” he said. “What we have to make sure is that whatever we do is better than current law.”
Read more at The Hill.
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