Leahy-Collins' gun trafficking amendment fails to clear 60-vote threshold

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The Leahy-Collins amendment clarified language on lawfully buying a gun from a licensed dealer as a gift so that was not viewed as straw purchasing under the law.

GOP Sens. Collins, Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) supported the bipartisan amendment, but it wasn't enough to reach the 60-vote threshold.

The Senate is considering the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, S.649, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on gun trafficking and beef up security in schools. Some GOP senators have said the bill goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun-owners.

Leahy said the Senate bill would give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to prosecute straw purchasers — people who legally buy a gun but then sell it to someone who would not be able to pass the background check. 

“This amendment would stop criminals from circumventing the existing background system,” Leahy said. “It’s designed to give law enforcement the tools to stop straw purchasing.”

The Senate was scheduled to vote on nine amendments Wednesday, all of which were subject to a 60-vote threshold. More amendment agreements are possible later this week or next.