Reid said the family members of the victims of a mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., deserves a vote. Twenty children were killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in December, along with six school employees.
The Senate is debating S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act. The gun reform bill would expand background checks on gun purchases, create new penalties on straw purchases and include new funding for school security.
The bill doesn’t include an assault weapons ban or limits on magazine clip capacity — although Reid promised a vote on those provisions as an amendment.
A group of GOP senators, lead by Sens. Mike LeeMike LeeICANN is already under foreign government influence: the proof is in the pudding Senators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout' Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRand PaulHow low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? Lawmaker seeks to investigate Obama's foreign tax compliance law Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (Ky.) and Ted CruzTed CruzThe 'Overton Window' and how Trump won the nomination with it Judge rejects attempt to stop internet oversight transfer Tech groups file court brief opposing internet transition suit MORE (Texas), have threatened to filibuster any gun control legislation — which creates a 60-vote threshold — because they said it would violate Second Amendment rights.
Reid said that the bipartisan bill does not end the Second Amendment right to bare arms, but includes “common sense” limits to stop criminals and those who are mentally ill from buying a gun.
The first amendment being considered is a bipartisan deal on background checks from Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Mylan CEO should be ashamed of EpiPen prices Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
Republicans expressed concern that expanding background checks could create a federal registry of gun owners and make it harder for family members to transfer firearms.
Manchin and Toomey’s deal would expand background checks to cover all sales at gun shows and over the Internet. Those background checks would have to be accompanied by records proving to law enforcement officials they took place. It would exempt gun sales and transfers between friends and acquaintances, and explicitly ban the federal government from creating a national firearms registry.
“This doesn’t go as far on background checks as some had hoped, but that’s the nature of compromise,” Reid said. “Expanding background checks to cover gun shows and online sales, is common sense. … No one wants to put a gun in the hands of a murderer.”