The debate is scheduled to begin Tuesday on gun legislation and the Manchin-Toomey compromise on background checks. As it appears the legislation is falling short of the 60 votes needed to pass, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-WV, and Pat Toomey, R-Penn., are encouraging their colleagues to read the measure closely to understand what it will and won’t do, according to CNN.
Toomey’s website gives a summary of the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, and states that while it would require the existing background check system be extended to gun shows and online sales, it bans creating a national firearms registry, and imposes serious criminal penalties for misusing or illegally retaining firearms records.
One focus of the bill is getting states to provide all their available records and names of prohibited purchasers into the national background check system, and will restrict federal funds to states who do not comply.
Changes in background checks are outlined in section two of the bill as follows:
Summary of Title II: This section of the bill requires background checks for sales at gun shows and online while securing certain aspects of 2nd Amendment rights for law abiding citizens.
Closes the gun show and other loopholes while exempting temporary transfers and transfers between family members.
Protects gun owners from arrest and detention by fixing interstate travel laws for gun owners who are transporting legal firearms across state lines.
Protects sellers from lawsuits if the weapon cleared through the expanded background checks and is subsequently used in a crime. This is the same treatment gun dealers receive now.
Allows dealers to complete transactions at gun shows that take place in a state for which they are not a resident.
Ensures that sales at gun shows are not prevented by delayed approvals from NICS.
Requires the FBI to give priority to finalizing background checks at gun shows over checks at store front dealerships.
Authorizes use of a state concealed carry permit instead of a background check when purchasing a firearm from a dealer.
Permits interstate handgun sales from dealers.
Allows active military to buy firearms in their home states.
Family transfers and some private sales (friends, neighbors, other individuals) are exempt from background checks
Adds a 15 year penalty for improper use or storage of records.
Section three of the bill creates a commission of six experts appointed by the Senate Majority Leader and six experts appointed by the Speaker of the House, to study the causes of mass violence in the United States, considering at all aspects of the problem, including guns, school safety, mental health, and violent media or video games. An interim report would be required in three months and a final report in six months.
According to Toomey’s announcement, there is a list of issues the bill will not address.
The bill will not take away anyone’s guns.
The bill will not ban any type of firearm.
The bill will not ban or restrict the use of any kind of bullet or any size clip or magazine.
The bill will not create a national registry; in fact, it specifically makes it illegal to establish any such registry.
The bill will not, in any way at all, infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
Sen. Manchin took to the House floor on Monday to provide further explanation. See the video of his speech provided via NBC News.
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