Monday, April 15, 2013

Why I Will Support Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill

How gun rights advocates turned a loss into a win:

We have been waiting for details on the "background check" bill that will be proposed by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) next week.  Now we have them - and it turns out that this bill - which is the only bill with any chance of making it out of the Senate - actually includes a huge number of pro-gun rights provisions - because the 2nd Amendment Foundation helped to write it. 

Among the gun rights protections included in the bill:

  • Makes the creation of a federal gun registry using background check data, or any misuse of background check data by  a Federal felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  Currently this is illegal, but there is no penalty.
  • Sales to friends and family will not require a background check.
  • No background checks on purchasers who hold CCW permits.
  • Private and commercial sellers will be protected against civil and criminal liability for gun sales if they do a background check.
  • Protection for veterans who seek mental health treatment, but pose no threat.
  • The bill puts teeth in the 1986 firearms owners protection act - which says if it is legal where you start your trip and legal where you are going - and the firearm is empty and in a locked case - local laws in places you pass through do not apply.  Both NYC and Chicago routinely violate this law at their airports - arresting law abiding travelers on layovers - because it currently has no punishment attached.  This bill will change that.
  • Under this bill, you will be able to buy a gun in any state - not just the one you live in.  This includes handguns.  (Of course, you still must comply with any state restrictions when you come home.)

This is a huge win for gun rights in the US - if you doubt this I suggest you watch the video.  This bill contains a laundry list of pro-gun provisions we have wanted for years.  As someone who is very knowledgeable on these issue - and VERY pro-gun rights - I would fully support this bill.  I would be willing to bet that the NRA signs on as soon as they see the bill - or at least drops their opposition.  The real question is what gun control advocates will do.

Furthermore, although not mentioned in the video, this bill will likely be amended to require all 50 states to recognize each other's concealed carry permits - something the gun rights movement has wanted for a long time.  Given that 82 senators  All of this virtually guaranties that the bill will sail though the House - the real question will be, will President Obama sign it?

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