Manchin-Toomey Amendment is Step in Right Direction


The Manchin-Toomey Amendment shows that lawmakers in Washington are willing to do what’s right and listen to the 9 out of 10 Americans asking for expanded and enforceable background checks.

The Brady Campaign is expressing support for the overall legislation.

“We are optimistic that this bill will make a dramatic difference in reducing gun violence. The American people are raising their voices in calls for action and today the Senate listened. This is an opportunity that does not come often and we hope the Senate and the House seize it now. We thank those Senators who voted to begin the debate that the American public has been asking for. They have given the victims and families of victims of gun violence what they deserve. A vote for real meaningful change,” Brady Campaign President Dan Gross said

That being said, there are some areas for concern about the Manchin-Toomey compromise on background checks. These concerns include the following:

* In the area of background checks, while it expands them to include sales at gun shows and other commercial sales, it continues to allow many private sales without a background check, no questions asked. It also limits the time for background checks at gun shows to less than the 3-days now required for gun dealers.  Shortening the time for checks increases the risk that prohibited people will obtain guns.

* The bill allows some concealed carry permit holders to be exempt from background checks, even though it has been reported that numerous criminals obtain such permits.

* The bill expands the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act's" exemptions to civil justice law to shield unlicensed sellers from basic negligence law, even though responsible sellers don't need special protection from the law, and negligent ones don't deserve it.

* The bill allows dealers to sell handguns to persons of any other state.  While the bill requires dealers to obey the law of the buyer’s state, as well as the dealer’s state, since many dealers are unfamiliar with the laws of other states, even well intentioned dealers may not follow them. 

* The bill may undermine strong state laws ensuring the safe transportation of firearm.


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