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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You know how background checks were supposed to be dead?

ThinkProgress: A bipartisan duo of senators with A ratings from the National Rifle Associated have reached a deal to expand background checks to private gun purchases that occur in commercial settings.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) will announce the details of the plan during a press conference Wednesday morning. Currently, only federally licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background screenings.

Under the Manchin-Toomey agreement, background checks will occur for sales conducted at gun shows, online, and through public advertisements with full record keeping, which advocates see as essential for enforcement and tracing crime guns. Friend-to-friend and family sales will be exempt from the requirement.

And while the plan stops short of the far more expansive background check provision offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — that measure would have extended background checks to all gun sales outside of close family transfers — the new agreement builds momentum for reform and may come as a blow to the 14 conservatives who have pledged to block debate of any new gun regulations.
And what about those 14 blood lobby puppets who’ve vowed to filibuster any gun regulation — how’s that going?

Talking Points Memo: Numerous Republicans said Tuesday they won’t vote to block gun control legislation from reaching the floor, making Senate Democrats increasingly optimistic that they’ll have the necessary votes to begin debating their bill, even though final passage remains uncertain.

Early in the day, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) told CBS he won’t filibuster the bill.

In the Capitol, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reaffirmed that they’ll vote to begin debate on the bill. Sen. Tom Coburn told TPM he’ll also vote for the motion to proceed to debate. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) similarly told reporters they won’t filibuster debate on the legislation.

“I do not understand — it’s incomprehensible to me that we would not move forward with debate and amendments on an issue this important to the American people,” said McCain.

“My hope is that we can have a full and open debate with amendments, and if that occurs then I will certainly vote to proceed,” said Collins.
So long story short, that filibuster’s over with before it ever began. The vote on the legislation could still go either way — I haven’t seen a whip count yet — but the fact that supporters of common sense gun regulation have gotten this far has got to worry the NRA. As I keep saying, we don’t have to win every battle, we just have to keep fighting.

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