PA-Sen: Toomey Pledges to Support New Attempt at Background Check Legislation (AUDIO)
In 2013, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, Pat Toomey became a major supporter of additional background checks for gun purchases.
The GOP Senator teamed up with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin to offer an amendment that would’ve expanded background checks to firearm sales at gun shows and over the internet.
That legislation was approved by a majority in a 54-46 vote but could not pass the 60-vote threshold to reach cloture and avoid a filibuster (five Democrats* voted against the bill while four Republicans voted for it).
In a call with reporters this morning, Toomey revealed that Sen. Manchin reached out to him to re-introduce their legislation. Sen. Toomey said he would join his colleague if he once again offered up the bill.
The Senator also indicated when questioned that he would be open to adding a provision that would prevent people on the “no-fly list” from purchasing firearms.
“I doubt that the vote totals have changed very much,” he admitted. “Most of the people who were here in 2013 are still here. Obviously there are new faces, there are new members. I don’t think there are enough new members to have a significant difference in the outcome of this vote, but we’ll find out.”
For the record, Sen. Toomey is correct. 85 out of the 100 Senators who voted two years ago are still in office.
This development also has an additional intriguing political component. After the failure of Manchin-Toomey, the Senator hinted he would changing his focus and his Democratic opponents accused him of abandoning the issue.
Now, the commonwealth’s junior Senator appears ready to make a major statement on gun control less than a year out from his re-election.
*Due to Senate procedure, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid voted against the bill so that he could bring it back up again at a later time.