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PA-Sen: Group Claims Toomey Shying Away from Gun Legislation

Pat-ToomeySen. Pat Toomey has been called out by his Democratic foes for political posturing over gun control measures.

Over the weekend, Pennsylvanians for Self Protection – an ardent pro-Second Amendment group – cancelled their scheduled protests at Toomey’s office statewide after receiving “positive responses to our request that the Toomey-Manchin anti-gun legislation or similar bills not be re-introduced,” a statement on the group’s website reads.

“We will update you if the need arises for a political demonstration, but now it seems unnecessary,” the statement concluded.

Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty hit back at Toomey’s assurances to the group, saying the Senator had been “caught red-handed” playing politics with the citizens of PA.

“Pat Toomey was caught red-handed telling certain groups one thing, and telling Pennsylvanians something completely different,” McGinty’s campaign manager Mike Mikus said. “Sen. Toomey needs to come clean and explain why he promised a prominent anti-gun safety group that he wouldn’t re-introduce legislation that could save lives.”

Two years ago, PA’s junior Senator teamed up with Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to push for tougher background checks for commercial sales of firearms, though the bill failed to pass the Senate by six votes.

After a shooting in a Charleston church left nine parishioners dead, calls for stricter background check legislation again intensified, with many looking to Toomey for some movement.

“What I’m trying to figure out is, is there something that could get the support of the 60 votes that we would need in the Senate,” Toomey told The Washington Post a week after the Charleston massacre. “Joe Manchin was and is a great partner and someone I will continue to work with, and I’m open to exploring what is possible.”

Toomey tried to make it clear at the time that any effort to reform gun laws would take time and effort, and would likely fail in today’s Congress.

Families of the victims of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting gathered to honor Toomey in June – just a week after the Charleston shooting – for his work on pushing for restrictions on gun ownership in the Toomey-Manchin bill.

“Senator Toomey is 100% committed to expanding background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,” his campaign told PoliticsPA. “He is open to supporting any legislative effort that accomplishes that goal, including the reintroduction of the Manchin-Toomey bill.”

As Toomey walks a tightrope trying to win a second term in the Senate, Democratic challengers Joe Sestak, McGinty and John Fetterman will be hoping he slips.

UPDATE: Joe Sestak’s campaign sent the following statement to PoliticsPA:

“Do you want a warrior who is beside you all the time, or a guy who deserts after one lost battle? Despite repeatedly claiming he is ‘looking for opportunities’ to reintroduce the bill, either Sen. Toomey lacks the courage to simply reintroduce it or his true conviction remains the same as when he said ‘my idea of gun control is a steady aim.'”

16 Responses

  1. Toomey should be voted out of office , for promoting more gun control! We have enough stupid gun laws that do not work!

  2. You’re wise not to try. Although talk is cheap, or to put it in your words, “Saying ain’t doing, son.” LOL

  3. I’m way too busy laughing to spend time on petitions. Have the jackbooted thugs of Jade Helm reached your door yet? Ha!

  4. OK, if you won’t say “cold dead hands” will you at least give us “…only criminals would have guns.” I demand entertainment!

  5. If he dared apply the same yardstick to Casey Jr., he’d see what we all already know about Montco PA Dem: he’s a hypocritical hack and troll.

  6. Montco PA Dem has usual liberal lies and mocking to back up his position. Every country and every US state that has had gun registration has used those lists to confiscate guns from lawful, peaceful citizens. It’s not paranoid to fear these liberal anti-freedom citizen control schemes, it’s common sense, for anyone who loves liberty. The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen, and if there’s one thing liberals love it’s huge all-controlling government with tiny citizens cowering in fear of it.

  7. Toomey sticks his neck out and gets licked advancing sensible gun law and Montco PA Dem calls him a fake moderate controlled by the Koch brothers. Now he calls others paranoid? Guess it takes one to know one.

  8. Keep ’em coming guys, I love reading this far-right paranoid slobberfest stuff. Somebody should run through how the government took over Texas this summer with Jade Helm and took everybody’s guns away down there. And maybe somebody else can go through the evidence that the Sandy Hook school shooting was faked to impose mandatory gun control.

    Personally, I think America is so much more fun now that the mental institutions are all shut down.

  9. Gun grabbers slobber at the thought of creating lists of gun owners, so door to door confiscation can be done quietly and tidily. Can anyone explain how our nation isn’t going to go through another civil war over this and other big government control schemes that liberals love? Conservatives are abolitionists, liberals want to enslave everyone. Huge percentage of Americans aren’t taking it.

  10. Joe R, the bill would have made listbuilding a federal crime. What are you smoking? It’s wingnuts like you that Schumer counted on so that Republicans would commit suicide over this bill even though the gun grabbers were the ones who hated it. Not only would OMalley and the listbuilders of his ilk become criminals, interstate travel would have been allowed, and a pending amendment was scuttled on family transfer exemptions the Democrats desperately didn’t want to have to cast votes on (it would have overwhelmingly passed). All because you want some (only some) vendors at gun shows to perform background checks. Toomey’s strategy was endorsed by NRA leadership (they agreed to remain publicly neutral–because they know the membership is unreasonable and instantly believes the worst lies they’re told about gun laws). They eventually had to back out because they knew even they couldn’t break members’ paranoia.

  11. {I composed the following a few months ago, to an NRA leader.}

    Regarding the effort to “plug” inconsistencies via the [failed] Toomey/Manchin initiative, it is preferable to create a “voluntary/mandatory” structure addressing private-sales; when I had initially “pitched” my idea to you, you dubbed it “show me your purchase-order and I’ll then conclude you passed a background-check,” but your rejoinder didn’t govern the prospect of a sale that [1]—may not have been preceded by another, @ a gun-show, or [2]—may not have been conducted @ a site remote to a gun-show. I believe you then liked my suggestion.

    The NRA-ILA website [] details multiple federal restrictions on private gun purchases that, one would think, a seller would find desirable to honor…for his/her personal benefit; thus, facilitating the process of acquiring relevant info would appear to be an optimal approach to this problem, absent any “registration” process.

    I propose that a MANDATORY system be established whereby any private seller can CHOOSE to acquire a background-check @ either gun-shows or any/all local police-stations for FREE.

    This would not violate any NRA-ILA policies, nor would it unduly impinge upon fundamental rights embodied in the 2nd Amendment; this would also not be inconsistent with initiatives born of the Brady Bill and enhanced by more recent efforts spearheaded by Bloomberg/Giffords. Assuming y’all concur, might this stance receive endorsement from multiple individuals, ASAP?

  12. Good. The fact that this schmuck thinks he can f*** around with legislation that would eventually give birth to gun registration and other privacy/ due-process violations for 120 million people, (38% of the U.S. population owns a firearm or firearms)is truly disgusting. Go take a look at Martin O’ Malley’s gun agenda…..basically declaring war on 120 million people!! May as well have to sick the U.S. military on all of them to enforce this crap, and if things like this go through, I feel no sorrow for the cops who get hurt or worse enforcing these laws!!! Stalinism at its finest, eh Comrade O’Malley.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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