Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | democrats | manchin | guns | schumer

Senate Dems Split on Plans to Curb Gun Violence

joe manchin speaks at hearing
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Feb. 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 25 March 2021 11:02 AM

In the wake of two mass shootings, Democrats can’t agree on a strategy to control gun violence.

The Hill reported Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said a background checks bill approved by the House goes too far. Meanwhile, Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., want a ban on assault weapons and restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

The House passed two bills on March 11 to require background checks on all firearms sales and transfers and to allow an expanded 10-day review for gun purchases.

Similar bills were passed by the House in 2019, shortly after Democrats won the majority, but languished in the GOP-controlled Senate for the next two years.

While the House bills had Republican co-sponsors and won a handful of GOP votes, most Republicans voted against them.

Manchin maintained he does not support any bill to expand background checks that includes all those who would purchase or transfer firearms. He wants an exemption for transfers between friends and family, The Hill said.

Manchin announced he will resume negotiations with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on their 2013 proposal to require background checks for guns sold over the Internet or at gun shows but exempt sales and transfers between friends and family, according to the news outlet.

"Commercial background checks is the most, I think, reasonable approach," he said. "I’ve always said that."

"I have long been a supporter of the Manchin-Toomey proposal, without infringing on the rights of law-abiding Americans, to change and close some of the loopholes in the background checks so that they apply to online sales for example," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said on Monday.

Gun control measures would need 10 Republican votes to pass in the Senate — assuming the Democrats vote together.

But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., insisted the House bills don’t address the real issue.

"First of all, these acts of violence are horrendous," he said. "We've seen them happen periodically in our history. It reminds us that the real challenge here is mental illness and identifying people who are likely do this kind of thing in advance is very, very difficult."

The debate comes as a gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, at a supermarket in Boulder County, Colorado, on Monday. And shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs on March 16 left eight people dead.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has also expressed concern about the House bill’s requirement for background checks for transfers or sales between family members.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is looking for a way to unite his caucus behind a plan to curb gun violence. He plans on meeting with Senate Democrats to come up with a proposal.

"We have to figure out the best way to get the most done," he said. "I’m not going to pick which of them. The background checks bill passed the House, it passed it overwhelmingly. It’s supported by 90% of Americans, 80% of gun owners.

"That is not to say we wouldn’t look at other things as well."

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Politics
In the wake of two mass shootings, Democrats can't agree on a strategy to control gun violence. The Hill reported Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said a background checks bill approved by the House goes too far...
democrats, manchin, guns, schumer
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2021-02-25
Thursday, 25 March 2021 11:02 AM
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