Senate arrives at bipartisan gun background check agreement

Criminal-Background-CheckYesterday, after much intense debate, the Senate struck a deal to expanding background checks for gun buyers. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), both of whom are strong traditional allies of the National Rifle Association, revealed a compromise to close the gun show loophole.

According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:

“Unfortunately, current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers, which account for just 60% of all gun sales in the United States. A loophole in the law allows individuals not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without a license—and without processing any paperwork. That means that two out of every five guns sold in the United States change hands without a background check. Though commonly referred to as the “Gun Show Loophole,” the “private sales” described above include guns sold at gun shows, through classified newspaper ads, the Internet, and between individuals virtually anywhere.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. listens at left, as Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa. announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. Photo credit: Associated Press

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa. announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. Photo credit: AP

The gentlemen, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning noted that the proposal is a huge step forward towards larger legislation and that it doesn’t infringe on the second amendment rights of law abiding citizens. Joe Scarborough commended the senators for their ‘courage’ in pushing forward with a compromise, and noted that NY Senator Chuck Schumer went ‘to the middle’ in order to get this deal worked out.

A good next step would be making constituents aware of what’s in the bill — which is contrary to everything NRA leadership says. According to the senators, there is still plenty of incorrect information floating around as to what the deal involves but they have done their best to ensure that the rights of citizens who follow the law have been protected. Over 90% of Americans are in support of creating legislation that ensures weapons don’t fall into the hands of criminals, and the senators are in agreement that it is long past the time that strong action is taken to reduce gun violence in the nation.