"LiveBlogging The Senate Gun Debate"
LATEST UPDATE4:50 pm
GOP substitute amendment voted down
Manchin/Toomey amendment voted down
Four Republicans voted in favor of the measure, including Sens. Collins, McCain, Toomey, and Kirk. Four Democrats voted against it: Sens. Heitkamp, Pryor, Baucus, and Begich.
Currently, the legislation contains a much more expansive background check provision, supported by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), that will almost certainly fall short.
Manchin corners Cruz
MANCHIN: Would the senator just yield for one quick time, sir? Sir, if i may ask you, do you agree that a bill or amendment should be posted for 48 hours prior to voting?
CRUZ: Is the Senator suggesting that the Senate should move these votes?
MANCHIN: No, I’m just saying, do you believe we should have 48 hours posting?
CRUZ: I think that is ordinarily the right order to follow. And in this case, this bill, this substitute took considerable time and was the result of extended negotiation among a great many senators, and I know my friend from West Virginia has gone through those extended negotiations before and surely will again.
Cruz hits Obama for not prosecuting gun criminals
Federal firearm prosecutions has remained steady, varying by no more than 5 percent each year, data from the Department of Justice reveals. Republicans and the NRA specifically cherry pick prosecutions for background checks to imply that the Obama administration has stopped enforcing existing law, though it has gone after gun-related crimes at the same rate as its predecessors. Law enforcement officials often see these cases as a poor use of resources because prosecutors must prove that “the person knew they were lying when they tried to purchase the firearm” in order to secure a conviction which “usually carries a maximum sentence of just six months.”
Leahy hits GOP on 'regular order' hypocrisy
LEAHY: But all of a sudden late this morning, with no hearings, no markup, no chance to debate it, we have a partisan alternative led by some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. People always speak about regular order, but none of these provisions were considered through regular order. None of them were offered or debated in committee. All of a sudden, wait, whoa, we can’t have this thing the law enforcement wants!
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) admitted that the legislation “was not put through the committee” but added that it is “in response” to “testimony and evidence” presented in the committee.
Harkin introduces bipartisan mental health amendment
McCain announces support for Manchin/Toomey amendment
Senator: undocumented immigrants prove government shouldn't regulate guns
Shelby also suggested that the broken immigration system demonstrates that the government would be incapable of tracking guns:
“There are as many guns in this country perhaps as there are people, according to some estimates. That’s more than 300 million people and there are probably over 300 million guns. The bureaucracy that we have today cannot track all of the people illegally residing in this country. Why then would anyone believe that the bureaucracy could track all of the guns illegally possessed in this country?“
GOP senator's solution to gun violence: parents must tell kids 'it's not right to kill people'
Grassley: Manchin/Toomey will put U.S. on a 'slippery slope'
Connecticut senator slams lawmakers' 'casual willingness' to turn their backs on Newtown families
Burr's amendment to restore gun rights to mentally incapacitated veterans
Veterans advocates worry that mentally ill veterans are at a high risk for self-harm, noting that 18 veterans die by suicide each day.
Coburn's solution to gun violence: 'moral leadership'
“We can’t legislate away the evil that is about us, we can’t fix it all with a law,” he said, before complaining about America’s “moral decline” and lack of “moral leadership.” Watch it:
The case against concealed carry reciprocity
State laws that deny permits to people who have been convicted of certain violent misdemeanors or require gun safety training could be ignored, as states with tighter gun regulations would have to accept permit holders from states with looser standards — even if those permit holders would have been prevented from carrying guns in the state where they are traveling.
Earlier today, Cornyn argued that states should recognize out-of-state permits, as they do driver licenses. Law enforcement would be required to honor concealed carry permits from all 50 states but without a national database of various permits, they would be unable to properly verifying their authenticity.
Blumenthal makes the case for high capacity magazines
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) won't vote for background checks
“I’ve been adamant from the very beginning of this conversation that the focus should be on mental health issues, full and accurate reporting into the NICS database and ensuring that we are prosecuting criminals in possession of or trying to possess firearms. This conversation should be about what is in people’s minds, not about what is in their hands. I commend Senators Manchin and Toomey for working so hard to bring a serious bill to the floor. However, in its current form I do not see a path for my support. I’ve thought long and hard about this, I’ve taken the tough meetings, and I’ve heard overwhelmingly from the people of North Dakota; and at the end of the day my duty is to listen to and represent the people of North Dakota.”
Grassley/Cruz alternative would make it easier for people involuntarily committed for mental illness to purchase guns
For instance, current law prohibits people who are ordered by a court into involuntary treatment from buying weapons — even though individuals can petition to have their rights restored in 22 states. Under the bill, individuals who are released could seek to have their name removed from the federal database immediately and would not have to go through a formal adjudication process to prove worthiness to buy a gun. People who were determined to be a danger to themselves or others would only be prohibited from gun ownership if they are proven to be imminently dangerous.
Debunking the 'gun-free zone' myth
But a review of the 56 mass shootings between January 2009 and January 2013 that was identifiable through FBI data and media reports, conducted by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, tells a very different story:
– 56% of shootings took place wholly in private residences.
– Of the 24 incidents in public spaces, at least 11 took place wholly or in part where concealed guns could be lawfully carried.
– Just 13 of the shootings (23%) took place entirely in public spaces that were so-called “gun-free zones.”
Former Rep. Patrick Murphy on how to get an F from the NRA
I believe in the Second Amendment. I’m a gun owner. I have a permit to carry. I carried a weapon 24/7 when deployed overseas twice since 9/11. And when I served in Congress, I voted in 2008 to repeal Washington D.C.’s handgun ban, which I believed violated the Second Amendment because it prohibited 600,000 District residents from owning a weapon, even for the purpose of defending their home.
These views earned me an F rating from the NRA lobby. That’s right, an F. According to the NRA lobby, I was a “true enemy of gun owners’ rights.”
Connecticut senator reading names of gun violence victims at Capitol
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Manchin: background checks would close the terror loophole
Manchin calls out NRA for support background checks in 1999
During a May 27, 1999 hearing, CEO Wayne LaPierre testified it was reasonable: “We think it is reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show,” LaPierre said. “No loopholes anywhere for anyone. That means closing the Hinckley loophole so the records of those adjudicated mentally ill are in the system.” Here is a copy of the ad the NRA took out in 1999 saying, “We think it’s reasonable to provide for instant checks at gun shows just like at gun stores and pawn shops”:
Sen. Ted Cruz: Manchin/Toomey 'does not purport' to create a gun registry
The amendment specifically outlaws the creation of a registry on page 27 and actually strengthens the existing prohibits against such activity.