April 10th, 2013
08:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Deal reached on background checks in Senate  

(CNN) - Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, plan to announce a bipartisan deal on background checks for gun shows and Internet sales at an 11 a.m. press conference today, CNN's Dana Bash has learned.       

A Democratic leadership source says the compromise will likely be the first amendment to gun legislation being considered, after the Senate votes to begin the gun debate Thursday.        

READ MORE: CNN Poll: Popular background checks also cause worry

The breakthrough background check agreement is a key part of gun legislation. Because it has been struck by two senators with strong support from the NRA, they hope to find the 60 votes that will be needed to overcome opposition to pass their amendment        

The senate is expected to debate gun legislation for at least two weeks.    

Democrats believe as many as a dozen GOP senators will vote with them, making up for the handful of pro-gun Democrats who might vote against beginning debate on the bill. Fourteen Republicans promise to filibuster taking up the measure.

Several Republican senators told CNN Tuesday they would only vote to begin debate on the bill if they were assured by Democrats they would be allowed to offer amendments to the legislation.

Democratic leaders want to give senators from both parties ample opportunities to amend the bill and are prepared to debate it beyond a scheduled recess the first week in May, if doing so will increase the chances of passage.

“The way you put together a coalition to pass the bill is to allow as many amendment votes as you can. We are willing to take the time to do that and have that process,” the aide said.

Those negotiators will now have more time to find common ground on language, since the gun debate is expected to be lengthy. Democratic leaders also argue any bill they put on the floor will represent a substantial improvement in gun safety.

Many of those additional votes could be politically difficult for centrist Democrats, especially those up for re-election in red states, as Republicans are expected to craft amendments designed to put those senators on the spot. Nevertheless, Democratic leaders have determined it’s a risk they need to take if they want to pass substantive legislation to respond to the mass shootings that have plagued the nation in recent years.

“Once we’re on it we want to have an open process where there are a lot of votes and we really work through that,” the aide said.   

- CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. Mitchell

    I think that getting ALL the Senators involved in this critical 2nd Amendment legislation in proper. I am agaisnt any further tampering with gun control as the right to bear arms is guaranteed in our now widely abused Constitution and Bill of Rights. Past history shows that when countries have given up gun rights ALL or nearly all negative aspects of that society have increased. Deaths by gun use in the U.S. is already extremely low per thousand citizens compared to many other countries. GO NO FURTHER WITH RESTRICTIONS!!!

    April 10, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. jrquint

    Well, we already have background checks at gun-shows and internet sales. Seems kind weird that they would write in new laws that already exist. Feel good legislation at its finest. I hope it tanks!

    April 10, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. yon gardner

    Gun legislaton or more dead kids. never thought this would the choice.

    April 10, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Bryan de Klerk

    Purchasing a firearm and not having any training shouldn't require a mandate on training, that is a personal, individual responsibility that is only incumbent upon you to pursue that training. Can we deny anyone the right to purchase a firearm without training? No. Let us assume you purchase a firearm because your life is under threat, but you cannot take possession of or carry that that firearm until you have attended mandated training. You worst fears come true and that threat happens upon you while you were waiting to undergo training to defend yourself. You have just inadvertently denied yourself the human right to self-preservation and self-defense. Who dictates what the training standard will be? If someone has prior training that is not recognized and/or accredited by that city/State are they required to undergo training yet again, even if they can show proficiency? Do we deny an elderly couple from purchasing a firearm simply because they may be physically or financially unable to attend such training, and yet we deny them the right to self-defense? The firearms is just a tool folks. The personal, individual responsibility is what YOU determine to be what will make you feel competent with said firearm, while maintaining your rights from the second you make that legal purchase and walk out the door with it.

    April 10, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    Pass gun-control. Then talk.

    April 10, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. Constantine

    Well its about damn time!!!!:/

    April 10, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. First One

    Wow. Those 12 filibuster-happy GOP presidential hopefuls will be disappointed.

    April 10, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Rosemary

    So what's the deal?

    April 10, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. cosmo

    bipartisan deal on background checks for gun shows and Internet sales today....... Congrats Congress now your on to something that we all agree on,These Laws should of been in the books along time ago, Best of all...It makes sense for once.

    April 10, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. pilot546

    A deal that needs voted on is not exactly a deal

    April 10, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Constantine16621990

    Stupid politics

    April 10, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Charlie

    DOA in the House and they know it.

    April 10, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. RanLo

    REALLY? Guns? Senate can reach a deal on GUNS! Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, what about the state of this country? THE BUDGET??????? Wake up Government!

    April 10, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. dukesurlaw

    A deal being reached in the Senate doesn't mean anything except that the Democrats agreed to let the background check law face the firing lines. That's all that it means.

    It isn't going to make it through the House, period. Wanna know why? These idiots are wanting to attach "amendments" to it after the fact that are as bad as, if not worse than, the Feinstein weapons ban, and amending a law is a hell of a lot easier than passing a new one.

    Want to know another fun fact?

    The only reason that the Democrats have not yet purposed a standalone background check is because we already have national background checks. They just need to be enforced, which the government doesn't want to do. It's just more BS to keep the uninformed voters under the rug, and a middle finger to the people who actually watch C-Span and see these bumbling fools in action.

    Of course, the more you know, the more dangerous you are to the opposition.

    April 10, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. Hype

    Internet gun sales? In order for an individual to purchase a firearm over the internet the said firearm must be shipped to a federal firearms licensed (FFL) dealer. In order for the FFL dealer to release the firearm he or she must take legal possession of the firearm ensuring it is added to their inventory, complete an ATF transfer document, and conduct a background check using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System prior to releasing the firearm. If the FFL dealer fails to do this they are breaking the law. If someone ships a firearm directly to an individual, not using a FFL dealer they are breaking the law. In either case the parties involved would be guilty of committing a felony. Yesterday an individual stabbed 14 people in Texas, this is a felony. Should we ban the sale of kitchen knives or implement a back ground check for anything that could possibly cause injury, after all the FBI statistics show over three times as many people are murdered using knives and clubs than rifles, so wouldn’t it make sense to focus on the what is causing the greatest number of deaths.

    April 10, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Michigander5

    Personally, I am more worried about someone with an X-acto Knife.

    April 10, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. wild man

    it's all part of a larger agenda, do you really think any federally elected official really cares about you, recent history says no

    April 10, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Steve

    gun laws WILL not keep the people who want to kill from getting guns. If you lock up the nuts in the first place, they will not be out on the streets killing. Most of these crimes were done by mentally ill people who should be in hospitals getting care but are released on the streets.

    April 10, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Mark

    What I read is that there has been a bipartisan effort to end filibuster and actually allow the Senate to vote on a bill that will only mandate background checks. My goodness..., the GOP and Democrats actually working together and getting something done in the Senate. Wow!

    Now, here's what right-wingers read: "Comrades, we have decreed that we will take all of your guns. Every gun will be seized for the glory of the Communist Party! Comrades of the People's Gun Seizure Agency will be coming to your home to seize all of your weapons. Comrade Obama has also authorized the GSA to seize your Bibles and to dissolve your heterosexual marriage. Long live the Revolution!"

    April 10, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. horf

    Could it be? Real, meaningful change?

    April 10, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. JT

    Shall Not Be Infringed...........

    April 10, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Bonny

    Luckily this will never get through the house. Be ready to crush any cockroach senator who votes for this trash bill that is loaded with restrictions on our 2nd amendment rights.

    April 10, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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