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. Madoshi

    I see no use for the filibuster. It undermines the people's will, and serves only as a platform for grandstanding by individual representatives. Why on EARTH would someone block the democratic process (voting)?

    April 10, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  2. cindy johnson

    I belong to the NRA, and think that all sales of guns should have a back ground check. But that is as far as I will go.
    I love my guns and I enjoying hunting.

    April 10, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. Booger

    well there you go.

    April 10, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Robert McCabe

    I am watching Grassely now and he said there is no deal reached yet.

    April 10, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.

    "The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those 'in common use at the time' finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."

    -Antonin Scalia.

    Is he a RINO?

    April 10, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Wired Weird in SF

    In spite of all of the lofty rhetoric by the lying, corrupt president and his democrat lberal partners in the theft of our freedoms, you will notice that all of this talk of gun reform boils down to hurting legitimate, legal owners. If the only people who owned guns in this country were gay, illegal immigrants who were on welfare and did not work or pay taxes you can bet it would not even be an issue to the most corrupt, lying, incompetent, inept president in our history.

    April 10, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. Bob

    We need background checks for all gun sales. Currently a felon that is prohibited from owning a firearm can go to a gun show and buy a firearm. As long as they don't go overboard with whatever their idea is and stick to the simple plan of keeping guns out of the hands of people who aren't allowed to own guns I support it.

    April 10, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. SpencerRifle

    I don't understand what changes can be made to internet sales, because they must be shipped to a FFL holder & a background check done before the buyer can take possession of it unless the buyer has a current C&R license or the gun is an antique made prior to 1899. Ads on Craigslist or other such sites are no different than placing an ad in the classifieds section of the newspaper announcing you have something for sale. The two parties must still meet in person & conduct the transfer because it's illegal to ship guns through the mail except for the 3 ways described above. As far as what I've heard about changes to gunshow sales is that as long as the transfer takes place within the actual gunshow location then a background check will be done but all other private sales will not require it. So if two people meet at the gunshow & one wants to buy another private citizen's gun then they just need to conduct the actual sale outside of the physical location of the gunshow. Say, like out in the parking lot. And this is even before the House gets to it & pulls it apart.

    April 10, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. Jim

    I think they should have background checks in the Senate. There are many people in the Senate that should not be there.

    April 10, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  10. PaulG

    Sell us out at your own peril. Americans need to think twice before handing over their rights.

    April 10, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  11. t3chn0ph0b3

    How is this so hard to do? 90%+ of us want this. We have far less consensus on same-sex marriage and that will probably pass soon. The NRA has a ridiculously shameful hold on American politics. Talk about undemocratic.

    April 10, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  12. Stevedemeds

    I'm a gun owning republican. That being said I don't understand why anyone would allow the purchase of any kind of firearm without a background check. Have a great day everyone!

    April 10, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    A bi-partisan gun bill? Well, I'm not going to hold my breath. This latest gesture on the part of teapublicans reminds me of the Affordable Care Act in its final stage before passage in 2010. This legislation had more republican ideas and proposals than democratic ideas and proposals. But at the end of the day, Eric Cantor and the GOP said they didn't care how many republican ideas and proposals were in the bill while others accused President Obama and Speaker Pelosi of "wanting to set a legacy for themselves."

    But when candidate Obama campaigned across the country in 2008, I doubt for a minute that "legacy" was on his mind when he met with scores of Americans who's love ones were discriminated against or denied life saving treatment because of pre-existing conditions. And I doubt "legacy" was on his mind when he met with Americans of all walks of life who said they were struggling to pay a mortgage and send their kids off to college while having to deal with skyrocketing healthcare costs simultaneously. I just wonder how thee GOPT would vote on the gun bill at the end of the day when they're once again confronted with the "L" issue. I guess time will tell.

    April 10, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. justified

    nice file photo of guns that will see no effect from this legislation. Also a rather old photo – the shelves would be bare of ammo today.

    April 10, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. crimson

    Republicans that vote for this will find themselves up against tough primaries during the next election cycle. Its not rocket science. Conservatives are going to make legislators that want this bill to pass pay for their mistake.

    April 10, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. James PDX

    "Fourteen Republicans promise to filibuster taking up the measure."

    Someone needs to filibuster them in the face. Whether you agree with something or not, ti deserves a vote. Something needs to be done about this filibuster nonsense and the children who keep employing it.

    April 10, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  17. BigJohn2

    Absolutely ridiculous. Notice most of these tragedic incidents were committed by someone who had a mental condition. Now – on your form it will ask you if you have a mental condition. Will a person who has a mental condition check it? No – not really Senators. Whose going to check? Hippa laws will stop you and Doctors will stay 100 degree's away from saying either way due to law suits. Now will this background check work. Whose kidding who. CYA for Senators and Congressmen while the decent lawbiding citizen gets hurt. And the criminals are laughing at you. When will you gun control folks really look at the real issue?

    April 10, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  18. plain&simple

    So does this mean when 91% of American people want and believe something should be done about stronger background checks....we can actually have a discussion and debate on the issue??? Well I guess there is hope for democracy!!!

    April 10, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. WV Gleeman

    Don't look for this to become anything. The amendments will make it impassable. Who wants to bet me they put in an abortion amendment to kill it?

    April 10, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- TAKE BACK THE HOUSE

    I'm keeping track of everyone who votes against gun legislation so i know who to throw money behind and who not to throw money behind next year. Background checks should be the easiest proposal to pass.

    April 10, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Michele

    There should be no give on this. The NRA has 4 million members, which means there are 296 million NON-members. The needs (and wants) of the many outweigh the needs (and wants) of the few. Perhaps an amendment can be offered that makes it a requirement of gun ownership to join a well regulated militia (for all you chickenhawks, that would be the National Guard).

    April 10, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. Will_NOT_Give_My_Rights_Away

    So now what about those who steal someones identity buys a some guns and then sells them on the street how are you going to stop or deal with them?

    April 10, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Bob Marshal

    Nope, nothing in here about changing the Constitution with back room deals:

    Article. V.

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

    April 10, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. Wired Weird in SF

    Betch the deal will not include obama supporting gangstas in Chicago registering their weapons. He might lose some of his support from the welfare frauds, dopers and corrupt union thugs that run that city.

    April 10, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. mark

    Internet sales already include a background check. The firearm has to be mailed to a pawn shop etc. that holds an ffl. The background check is conducted at the time of pick up.

    April 10, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
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