Updated: Gun Rights Groups Chilly Toward Toomey Plan

Toomey NAGR ad
This online ad comes from the NAGR

Updated with responses from the Nat’l Association for Gun Rights (whose ad is to the right) and the Newtown families, via MAIG.

If Sen. Pat Toomey had hoped his background check compromise would win over gun rights advocates, he was disappointed Wednesday.

Reactions to his plan are pouring in. While it’s earned praise from Democrats and some Republicans, gun rights advocates are vocally criticizing it.

They say the bill puts individual liberties at risk but accomplish nothing that would have prevented tragedies like Newtown.

It was the anticipation of such criticism that apparently caused Toomey to keep Sen. Chuck Schumer off the stage at Wednesday’s press conference.

Toomey proposed the package along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

“Candidly, I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control. I think it’s just common sense,” Toomey said.

National Rifle Association:

“Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘universal’ background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows. The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson.”

Gun Owners of America:

“…nothing in this bill would have stopped Newtown dirtbag from killing his mother and taking the firearms that she owned and perpetrating the horrible crimes that he committed.

Nothing is this bill would actually make children safer at schools. There is nothing that will actually keep bad guys from stealing or illegally acquiring guns, but there’s plenty that will threaten our gun rights!”

Eric Erickson, RedState:

“Arlen Specter would be so proud of Pat Toomey giving the Republicans cover to go left.

….

“Over all, and I think this is key, this is ephemeral bull. This proposal will scratch the itch to do something, but will do nothing at all except expand bureaucracy. It would not stop events like Newtown or Columbine or the daily massacre in Chicago.”

Update: The National Association for Gun Rights is running an online ad campaign against Toomey, directing users to this page:

The most dangerous phase in the fight for gun rights is upon us — RIGHT NOW. I’m talking about Obama’s gun control scheme that Sen. Reid is pushing TODAY.

And your Senator Pat Toomey helping ram it into law.

PoliticsPA is seeking details on the size and scope of the buy.

Meanwhile, gun safety/control groups have been steady in their praise.

President Barack Obama:

“I applaud Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their leadership on forging a bipartisan agreement around commonsense background checks that will make it harder for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.

“This is not my bill, and there are aspects of the agreement that I might prefer to be stronger. But the agreement does represent welcome and significant bipartisan progress. It recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue, and we don’t have to agree on everything to know that we’ve got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence.”

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose group Mayors Against Illegal Guns announced that it was pulling down its Toomey TV ads in Pa.:

“I want to thank Senators Manchin and Toomey for their determination to find common ground on a bill that Democrats and Republicans can fully support. This bill will not only help keep guns out of the wrong hands – it will help save lives and keep our communities safe.”

Update: MAIG also got responses from family members of 5 the victims of Newtown, Connecticut:

“While nothing can be done to bring back our loved ones, we are deeply encouraged by the leadership demonstrated yesterday by Senators Manchin and Toomey. Their bipartisan compromise to expand background checks will help keep guns from falling into the wrong hands, and most importantly it will help save lives.”

Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFire PA:

“Senators Toomey and Casey are demonstrating that there is movement in Pennsylvania on the critical issue of gun violence prevention. We look forward to working with members of both parties in Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg to advance the work of keeping our communities safe from gun violence.”

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

“While we continue to review the draft bill, we believe a majority of the components are a good step forward to reducing gun violence. It continues the work that began more than 20 years ago when the Brady background check system was first created. Since that time, two million prohibited purchasers have been prevented from buying a gun, so we know that background checks work. This is not about gun control, it is about saving lives and more than nine out of ten Americans agree, criminals should not be allowed to easily purchase guns.”

Toomey is getting ground support from some Pa. Republicans.

Congressman Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) offered his instantaneous and full-throated approval:

“This common-sense agreement protects family transfers, and it builds on existing Pennsylvania and federal background check laws. Importantly, it ensures no federal gun registry is created and it does not impose federal bureaucratic mandates on private citizens exercising their constitutional rights. It’s what I’ve long fought for, and worked closely with advocates on all sides to achieve. Senate Democrats and Republicans should support it.”

And Pa. Republican Party Chair Rob Gleason thread the needle between slamming Obama and complementing Toomey for helping to facilitate one of Obama’s biggest policy goals:

“President Obama and his liberal allies continue to be unabashed in their efforts to take away our Second Amendment rights. Senator Toomey has our support to protect Pennsylvanians’ constitutional rights.”

But many Pa. Republicans are not on board. 75 GOP state Reps. signed onto a letter with state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) which said in part:

“As part of our elected representation in Washington, D.C., we urge you to reject any compromise that would advance any new gun control measures, including ‘universal’ or ‘comprehensive’ background checks that are being advocated for by New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Obama, Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer or any other individuals seeking to violate the rights of law abiding citizens instead of stopping criminals.”

19 Responses

  1. I every time ѕρent my half an hour to read this webpage’s content every day along with a mug of coffee.

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  2. I have three quotes that I think are appropriate at this time:

    “This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!” Adolph Hitler 1935
    “He who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
    “Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” Sara Brady, Handgun Control

  3. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but … I agree with Pat Toomey. Expanding background checks is NOT gun control. It’s a public safety issue to ensure that people who cannot legally purchase guns have fewer avenues to do so. They won’t be keeping records of lawful gun owners and hunting buddies swapping shotguns isn’t included.

    Good on Senators Manchin and Toomey for standing up for gun rights while also advancing public safety.

  4. Toomey is not dumb. Closing the gun show loopholes for background checks enjoys 89%-92% national support. Only the lunatic fringe of the GOP is angry at Toomey.

  5. Where’s “true” conservative Keith Rothfus on this issue? The Tea Party put Keith into Congress but now he’s afraid to speak out against Arlen Toomey’s gun grab because Keith’s office is run by a former Toomey staffer. Speak up Keith! Don’t let Arlen Toomey force you to remain quiet.

  6. Thank You Senator Toomey! Everyone who is criticizing this legislation must be ok with guns being in the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. I’m a Republican, and this is a common sense solution. The fact of the matter is a majority of Americans and a majority of Pennsylvanians support universal background checks. You people are just the loud minority. Don’t worry. Your vision for the Republican Party is about to lose the Governors Mansion, and will lose the White House in another 4 years if you keep it up.

  7. The plan will be tested in the Supreme court and struck down because there is a provision bypassing due process that allows healthcare professionals to inform NICS of a persons mental health history.

    The ACLU has fought this for years and rightly so. At what point do we lose our 4th amendment protections?

  8. Lycogirl,

    Barack Obama won the election, not President Barack Obama.

    I’m also not an elected official composing an official correspondence.

  9. Joyce, I can’t decide if you write tongue in cheek or not. This is hilarious: “Toomey is trying to say universal background checks aren’t gun control, but that’s exactly the mechanism that will be used to deny us our 2nd Amendment rights!” But I still can’t figure out if your irony is satire or not.

    Better Call Saul, you’re a hoot, too. In your first paragraph, you claim to show respect by stating a politician’s title. In the second paragraph, you leave off “President” while naming Barack Obama. Wonder what else you think you do, but don’t really?

    I also wonder what “liberties” we lose when we close the gun show loopholes?

  10. You people criticizing him are insane. The overwhelming majority of Americans support expanding these checks to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from acquiring a firearm. Do you want criminals to have more guns? Any law abiding citizen will not see their rights infringed.

    Your constant criticism and blind opposition is the reason Washington is so partisan and why the right wing of the GOP is a national mockery. If you want our conservative principles advanced recognize that compromises have to happen and a martyr achieves nothing…only his death.

    You are probably the same people that label yourself as pro-life and criticize abortion (despite it being upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States) but have no problem with an innocent man spending 10 years on death row only to be executed. Take a step back and realize you aren’t as smart as you think you are.

  11. Pro-gay marriage RINO Pat Toomey does whatever his Wall Street overlords want. It’s a well-known fact Toomey and Bloomberg go way back. Bloomberg threatened to cut off the Wall Street money spigot unless Pat agreed to support more gun control.

  12. As a conservative leader in Western PA, I can tell you that Pat Toomey is NOT a conservative. He is a RINO who just like Bob Casey flip flopped on pro life issues, raising taxes, expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and now is pushing gun control. Toomey is trying to say universal background checks aren’t gun control, but that’s exactly the mechanism that will be used to deny us our 2nd Amendment rights! Pat Toomey has some nerve to criticize Arlen Specter being a RINO, how is Toomey any different? Toomey is the best friend Obama ever had in the Senate to get gun control, taxes and Obamacare. We will be looking for a primary opponent against Senator Pat Specter

  13. Senator Toomey has let down his supporters. His efforts to advance gun control are a betrayal of the people who worked so hard to get him into office. This universal background check is nothing but a massive gun registry. Say it isn’t if you want, it is. That’s its purpose. State of Missouri just turned over its entire CCW database to the Feds. No reason given. But you’d have to be a liar to say there is not an aggressive effort underway to create a list of gun owners do that the government can more easily try to confiscate their guns. There is zero about this that is “common sense.”. Common sense would be actual prosecutions of gun law offenders. But there are people who want death and destruction so they can blame guns and advance their agenda. Maybe a recall of Toomey is in order?

  14. Unlike Rick Santorum, Pat Toomey is NOT grandstanding on the social issues. The NRA is NOT scoring the bill and Senator Manchin is as protective of right of self-defense as anyone can be. I would note that the House Republicans, and others who criticize Pat Toomey, have been less effective than one could hope despite what appears to me to be political posturing. Pat Toomey, who runs statewide, has nullified much of the demonization that would follow opposition to enhanced background checks.

  15. I’m not a fan of President Obama or VP Biden but at least I give them the respect of stating their title. Especially when you do it for the other two people in your list.

    That’s telling something coming from an elected official in a state Barack Obama won decisively.

  16. When the like of Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), who repeatedly denigrates veterans and just about every other species of human, opposes you, the course you have chosen is the correct one. Thank you Senator Toomey for standing up for sanity and reason

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