Toomey: Senate vote ‘going to be close’ on background checks bill

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Sunday that’s “an open question” whether his legislation with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks for gun sales will receive enough support to pass.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Toomey said that he expected a vote on the bill this week, with Wednesday the likeliest day. The Pennsylvania Republican said it wasn’t clear that the legislation would pass the Senate.

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“I think it’s an open question as to whether or not we have the votes. I think it’s going to be close,” Toomey said.

On CNN, Toomey as well as Manchin both defended the bill. The National Rifle Association is stridently opposed to the measure, arguing it would hinder the constitutional right to bear arms.

“There are some people who do want to infringe upon Second Amendment rights. I won’t be part of that. But I will be part of trying to make sure that criminals and dangerously mentally ill people have a harder time getting guns,” Toomey said.

“If you’re a criminal and if you’re mentally adjudicated, you might not like it. That’s all we are saying,” Manchin said. “At gun shows, Internet sales, commercial transactions is that you should not be able to buy a gun if you have been one of those two categories.”



The West Virginia Democrat said gun-owners would like their legislation.


“If you’re a law-abiding gun-owner, you’re going to like this bill,” Manchin said.

With NRA opposition, it will be tough to pick up votes in the Senate. Nevertheless, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) seems open to supporting the Manchin-Toomey bill.

Asked earlier on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether he would vote for the background checks bill, McCain said he was “favorably disposed.”

“I have got to give them credit and I want to look at it but I’m very favorably disposed,” McCain said.