March 20th, 2013
05:33 PM ET
10 years ago

On guns: Boehner reiterates support for better enforcement

(CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he supports stronger enforcement of the current background check system, not a new one, as Congress works to push through legislation aimed at combating gun violence.

His comments signal an uphill battle for gun legislation in the Republican-controlled House.

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"They should actually do a real background check on everyone. And they - the Department of Justice ought to enforce the law," Boehner said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Last week, a Senate committee approved a measure that would expand the background check system to include checks on all firearm sales, including private transactions.

In recent weeks, Boehner has said if the Senate passes a bill, the House will review it–though there's no guarantee anything will pass the lower chamber.

"We've got plenty of laws on the books. Let's go and enforce them before we just load up more laws on law-abiding citizens. Criminals don't respect the law," he said.

Compared to other gun control proposals floated on Capitol Hill–assault weapons ban, magazine caps–background checks appear to be the most likely to pass the Senate.

On the House side, Boehner said they've held a number of hearings before the Judiciary Committee, and they're looking at the issues of violence and mental illness.

Recent polls, however, show an overwhelming number of Americans favor an expanded background check system. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month, 92% said they support checks for all gun buyers.

Filed under: Gun control • John Boehner • The Lead
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "On guns: Boehner reiterates support for better enforcement"

    On guns: Boehner reiterates support for gun manufacturers and retailers.


    PS: Tapper is still a tool.

    March 20, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    ""They should actually do a real background check on everyone. "

    Well, that's not the law currently, imbecile.

    March 20, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    And that said, I'll have another glass of merlot.

    March 20, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. rs

    I expect nothing less from Boehner. He's scared of the NRA and supports the rights of criminals and terrorists to buy guns and shoot innocent people.

    March 20, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Boner is an obvious cronie of the gun lobby as is the rest of the gop garbage ,so let the gun industry vote for the gop trash ,as romney the gop tax cheat said , corperations are people to my friend ,well you better tell them to register to vote,that should be interesting to watch, while the rest of us registered voters vote. Againest the gop garbage party !!!!

    March 20, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. gblackfoot2012

    so once again one of the demons of feinstine still wants to push restrictions, they cant stop private gun sales, what dont they understand, o i forgot they want a NWO,

    March 20, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. NC Jeff

    I used to be a democrat but changed to an Independent about 6 years ago. I'm now leaning right and might even become a Republican. The more this guy talks the more I like him. The more the democrats talk and force their liberal crap on an unwanting population the further away I get from them.

    March 20, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. cbp

    Speaker Boehner seems to be walking a very fine line. He does not do anything which might rock the conservative boat even when he should consider giving his support to policies which would improve the safety of guns and ammunition. He is NRA all the way. Any time that a politician gives complete allegiance to an outside group we should be very leery. We need to find the best ways to keep guns and their use out of the hands of the NRA. We need to be sure that folks register their guns and that automatic weapons that can use multi-round gun clips are not a commodity that is for sale in gun shops, etc.

    The 2nd Amendment is important and people should have the right to own guns. We, who do not own guns, should be safe and should not feel threatened. There are two groups whose needs must be met. IF we all work together this can happen.It would be nice if Speaker Boehner addressed both groups and followed his own ideas and left the NRA behind.

    March 20, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    OR...the current laws could be enforced. Folks that fail the current background checks are never given an opportunity to explain why and are never followed up with by law enforcement.

    March 20, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. CAWinMD

    Yeah, Republicans are all for enforcing existing laws - and not providing any money for enforcement. The hypocrisy is just breathtaking.

    March 20, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. PoliticoJunkie

    ",,,reiterates support for better enforcement".

    Isn't that like asking a builder to build you a house with the tools that were used 50 years ago?
    How long do you think it will do a paper background check compared to a computerized check?

    The questions should be "How do you accomplish better enforcement...":
    – Using outdated tools and one hand tied behind your back?
    – When the Republican House wants to cut the federal budget and the personnel and tools used to enforce the law?
    – When the Republican House wants to place the burden on the individual states and local governments to enforce existing law?

    Give me a break...

    March 20, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. me

    speaking of imbeciles apparently you didn't read the article.where your vice president said that backround checks have stopped some two thousand criminals from buying guns Now, don't you feel like an imbecile?

    March 20, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  13. Deb in MT

    "Well, that's not the law currently, imbecile."

    Now Sniffit, there you go trying to introduce reality & facts into the discussion, and you know that GOPers/TPers don't "do" that reality stuff.

    March 20, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  14. AZ Woman

    OK, here is what we NEED to do.

    Background checks should include a mental test. If they are standard tests, they could be done within a few days, same as a background check. IF we establish a database where the retail people could submit them and get the results back (anyone remember Scantron tests?). If you fail either the background OR the mental, you don"t get anything, period. If you pass, cool. BUT, for liability purposes, to own a firearm, you need to also buy mandatory insurance/bond to own that weapon. Whatever type of arms you want (no, we are talking personal armament, NOT nukes, rocket launchers, etc.). The more risk that your arms has, the higher insurance/bond that you need to acquire. To balance that insurance bond, any safety classes, gun safes, or trigger locks you have, you get discounts. Kinda like car insurance, right?

    Trust me, there are actuaries out there that could figure this out.

    March 21, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    Boehner said "criminals dont respect the law"
    Well No ( great altuism) but also becuase they can legally buy a gun without a background check where 40 % of sales occur!? DUH??
    Only one state "democratic California " actually tries to match gun ownership data with criminal records and take action.
    Wake up people Boehner et all will say no oppose prevaricate and oppose any and ALL ATTEMPTS AT MEANINGFUL GUN LEGISLATION!!
    Shame on Reid for not bringing the assault weapons ban to the Senate Floor for a vote.

    March 21, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    Pass gun-bans.

    March 21, 2013 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  17. Kate

    GOPers and their love for guns.

    March 21, 2013 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  18. Chris

    Then does he oppose the constant efforts by his fellow Republicans, all backed by the NRA, to make the agency responsible for enforcing gun laws, the ATF, as impotent as they can? Through the concerted efforts of the GOP, the ATF is leaderless, has the funding equivalent to the 1970's, and is saddled with all sorts of restrictions that severly hamper their ability to enforce the existing guns laws.

    March 21, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  19. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    emotions make good law.

    Progressives do not want to hurt the "feelings"
    of WHITE males under 30 with Schizophrenia by having
    them immediately reported to the federal gun check
    system upon diagnoses.

    Too extreme ! Too judgmental ! Privacy invaded !


    Since they are NOT reported; when a gun check is run;
    they check out just fine. The law has been followed.
    Government fails again... Children die.

    My step son after several stays in state mental hospitals
    and MONTHS (not days) (not weeks) after being diagnosed
    with Paranoid Schizophrenia
    was able to purchase a shotgun with NO problem whatsoever.

    To this day it is unclear whether he intended to use it on himself;
    or on my wife and I; or other un-armed citizens.

    He was NEVER REPORTED to the gun check system.
    So when during a full blown mental melt down; (off his meds)
    something NOT uncommon in people with Schizophrenia

    he checked out just fine;
    and could purchase whatever firearms he wanted just like anyone else.

    By the way it would have been just as easy for him to purchase
    "High Powered Military Style Assault Rifle with High Capacity Magazines."

    It took several more (weeks) of intense effort on My part;
    (NOT on the governments part) to get him red flagged
    in the gun check system; so this could NOT happen again.

    If I had NOT had the foresight to demand he sign medical information
    release forms as a condition of him returning to live with us after his third
    stay in the state mental hospital I would be S O L. So would YOU!!!

    The doctors and the government both gave me grief
    attempting to get him entered into the gun check system.

    Government will fail you 100% of the time
    most likely when you are the most vulnerable.

    March 21, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |