Toomey Gives Response On Gun Bill

James J. Fitzpatrick, the Southeast Pa. regional manager for Sen. Pat Toomey,  has sent the following response to Mary Ellen Jones of the Delaware County Patriots regarding proposed firearm background check legislation that Toomey and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) are supporting.

On the gun issue, first I think we have come a long way. When it started out they were talking about bans, registries, and magazine limits. When the back and forth debate is whether or not to slightly expand background checks I think it is a win either way with this President.

Second, on the background check issue. We were approached by Sen. Machin's office to potentially broker a deal on certain private sales and transfers. Right now in PA if you wanted to sell me a handgun/pistol, I would need to go to a federally licensed dealer to receive a background check. If, however, you wanted to sell me a rifle, or any other type of long gun, I would not need to do that. We think there is a potential room for a deal in that space given that many gun owners already require individuals to whom they are selling long guns or rifles to go through a background check. I think Pat's thinking on it is at the very least on these transactions, the check would reduce the likelihood that someone would be selling to a felon, someone with a past of substance abuse, or someone that has a past of mental illness. It would also in turn protect the seller from liability on the back end if anything were to happen with the gun they sold.

With that said, these are simply conversations at this point between Manchin and Pat. No bill has been written and one will not be on the floor until next week at the earliest.

Ed note: The above message was sent April 9. A vote to start debate on the measure passed cloture in the U.S. Senate the afternoon of April 11 by a 68-31 margin preventing a filibuster. The Toomey-Manchin amendment has yet to be added.


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