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. ladyfon

    While I think background checks should be universal, it is not going to stop a person with a mental illness from obtaining a gun and committing mass murder, since their medical files remain private. That Newtown Connecticut shooting would still hapen with universal background checks (he had no criminal record). It's difficult with mental illness. Does a woman with depression not have the right to have a gun to protect herself from a rapist entering her home? Does a man with low sprectrum Autism not have the right to have a gun to protect himself from intruders? Are we saying that only healthy people have the right to have a gun? Are the going to have an amendment that with these background checks they are able to do a pysch evaluation on you?

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

    This headlines seems like a bill was passed, not just a deal to bring it up in session...

    April 10, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. sorberj

    If background checks don't include person to person sales, then you've left the biggest loophole still open. Right now there is effectively no illegal gun sale in the US since as long as I don't know someone's a felon, my sale of a weapon to them is still legal, even if their purchase of it isn't. Since background checks aren't required, all I have to do is say "gee officer, I didn't know he had raped 4 people with a gun, I just met him outside of Fulson Prison two weeks ago. He was dressed all spiffy and I thought he was safe" We need real background checks, not just incremental steps towards something that 90% of the US population agrees to (which includes a majority of NRA members).

    April 10, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. nu2okc

    so what is in the bill as it stands now...so much for reporting what is happening..looks like wasted space here.

    April 10, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. iceload9

    Wonder how long they can keep this ball in the air and avoid the big three, unemployment, runaway healthcare costs and corporate welfare. More than 400 of them and they can tackle one question at a time. This poor kabuki theater continues, the names and faces don't even matter at this point, they are the same as the chairs they sit in.

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

    Will background checks lead to registration, outlawing weapons, and confiscation? Are you nuts? Your car is registered, but you have absolutely no fear that it will be confiscated, even though it allows you great power. You can move at great speed in it. You can even use it to kill people, yet you don't fear that the government could take it away from you.

    Imagine how difficult it would be for the government to do so, even if it wanted to. Firstly, we elect the government. Who is going to vote for a person they think will confiscate their car? Nobody. Secondly, how many years and how much manpower would it take to go to every car-owning household in America and confiscate the cars? It's an impossible task. Thirdly, the military would have to implement such a policy, and our soldiers would never obey orders against their own people. The same can be said of gun confiscation.

    April 10, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Solves nothing, just limits our 2nd amendment right.

    April 10, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. wally

    Good for them. Lets have a debate. But please, can we keep the amendments relevant to the topic? Can we agree to keep all other issues for another day.

    Just asking.

    April 10, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. liberal disease

    so how does this stop a crazy kid like in CT? they are just trying to get anything done to look like they are working.

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

    Why on Earth would anybody be AGAINST mandatory background checks for purchasing deadly weapons? That's just insane.

    April 10, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Paul

    Why does the NRA oppose background checks? Because the NRA is supported by criminals, who make up the 40% of gun sales that are purchased without background checks.

    April 10, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. JulieMe

    Let me guess..Watered down versions of the what the President wanted!!!

    April 10, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. JimNasium

    Let me guess. A background check will be required for everyone, but there will be an exemption for terrorists, drug dealers, felons, and psychopaths.

    April 10, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. TH001

    The bill is a smokescreen for the amendments.

    April 10, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. Jeff Lundberg

    The only thing that gun legislation does is slow down LAW ABIDING CITIZENS in their motion to execute their 2nd ammendment rights. Criminals and others looking to acquire weapons in an unlawful manner will still do so, and with little or no speedbumps. If the government wants to make a difference, it needs to create much harsher punishment for the offenders. Take away the ability to plead insanity. Temporary Insanity? I think we have all been "temporarily insane" at some point in our lives. But the vast majority of us have chosen NOT to kill a bunch of people as a result. If someone is so insane that they commit a horrible act such as a mass shooting, they, in my opinion, are broken beyond repair, and voluntarily forfeit their right to breathe as they have taken the right to breathe from others.

    April 10, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. rad666

    Please start background checks on 4 year olds.

    April 10, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. Russ

    Sounds promising. Wish it would also include assault and military style weapons, but this will be a start.

    April 10, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. Randy

    We will not comply

    April 10, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Outstanding. A glimmer of sanity. The right must have been distracted for a moment with crisis like Beyonce's trip tioCuba and similar events of historical importance to the right.

    April 10, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  20. Jorge Sedano

    About time someone did something in the US Senate!.. The senate leadership is weak at this time///

    April 10, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. Teamski

    Wow! Immigration and now this! Is our government starting to actually work? We can only hope.

    April 10, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. Life is a roller coaster

    That isn't going to solve anything. It's the illegal guns, and ones not locked up when someone goes off their nut that are the problem. Jail time for people that leave their weopons unlocked when event occurs is what is needed.

    April 10, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. Stan Sitwell

    What the heck is this going to change? You already can't buy a gun on the Internet unless you have it shipped to your local FFL. This FFL is going to require a background check on you. Do they think that Internet sales means buying an AK-47 on Amazon and having it overnighted to your house?

    The Gun Show "loophole"? You mean the place where only 0.7% of convicts get their guns from?

    April 10, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Wildman

    This is fantastic! Criminals don't and won't use background checks and internet sales have required background checks

    April 10, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. Hard to Believe

    So Iran and North Korea are ramping up nuclear disaster, and Biden and his Liberal cronies are more worried about "gun control." How's that for not seeing the forest for the trees! Yes, indeed, we ARE in deep doo-doo with the current comic book president and vice president running the show.

    April 10, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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