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Expanding ‘on the table’ gun background checks

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that expanding background check requirements for gun purchases was “on the table” in Senate negotiations over a weapons package.

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, it’s a big, complicated problem. And most attempts to try to create any type of solution have stopped. But the Democrats and Republicans we just mentioned are negotiating right now to get something. Democrats need 10 Republican votes. You are one of six Republicans working with Senator Chris Murphy, he said today, that you are all drafting this legislation right now. It won’t ban assault weapons, there won’t be a full background check as part of it. Is your proposal to expand background checks still valid?

TOOMEY: Well, I certainly hope we’re going to have an expansion of background checks. You know, Senator Manchin and I have been working on this for a long time. And we tried to establish that, at least for commercial gun sales, there should be a background check. So sales at gun shows, sales that are advertised on the Internet. I don’t know if we will get exactly what Senator Manchin and I developed a few years ago, it would probably be something different from that. And it’s good. There are a number of mechanisms you can use to extend background checks. But I just think it makes sense. We all agree that violent criminals and people with dangerous mental disorders should not have guns. So we need a mechanism to increase the likelihood that he will identify such a person and prevent him from buying a gun legally anyway-

BRENNAN: So for-

TOOMEY: — and so that’s the idea behind the expansion of background checks.

BRENNAN: So to be clear, because you had proposed the Manchin-Toomey background check expansion in 2013, 2015, 2019. You’re saying what’s surviving right now is basically a watered down version of that. How is it different?

TOOMEY: Well, it’s a moving target, if you will, we’re still in discussion, and we’re still trying to figure out exactly what mechanism will get us the votes we need. So I can’t be specific about that. Margaret, this hasn’t been completely resolved. But something in the background checks expansion space, I think is very good, it’s certainly on the table, and I hope it will be part of a final package.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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