Senate Democrats

Bipartisan Legislation Would Strengthen Background Checks

At a press conference on Thursday, April 11, 2013, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) unveiled bipartisan legislation to strengthen and enhance background checks for new purchasers of firearms. The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act was also co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).
To read the bill, click here.

The bill ensures that anyone purchasing a gun at a gun show has to undergo a background check by a licensed dealer. Also, anyone who purchases a gun online through a commercial advertisement will also go through a background check for both interstate and intrastate sales.
As Nevada Senator Harry Reid said, “It is possible to uphold the Second Amendment while protecting innocent Americans from gun violence. The compromise background check proposal before the Senate – a measure crafted by Senators Toomey, Manchin, Kirk and Schumer – achieves both goals.”

Senator Manchin notes that the legislation does not impair anyone’s Second Amendment rights:

The bill will not, in any way, shape, or form infringe upon anyone’s Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
The bill will not take away anyone’s guns.
The bill will not ban any type of firearm.
The bill will not ban or restrict the use of any kind of bullet or any size clip or magazine.
The bill will not create a national registry; in fact, it explicitly prohibits it.