April 10th, 2013
08:50 AM ET
8 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. John

    "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."

    How disgusting is that, actually? They risk not getting anything that is common sense AND also the will of the people, so they have to risk getting anything at all. What is the nature of the being that would stand in their way? Nobody questions our right to self-defense or weapons to do that; this about things that are far beyond self-defense. Anybody who thinks the USA is busting into their house with evil intent is already MAD. As in insane. Can;t do it. FOX and CNN and MSNBC and your neighbor would notice. But LOONEY-TUNES think EVERYBODY is out to get them, and this is the source of the negative postings. Do not f with me, son, I strap a nuke.

    April 10, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. AzPatriot

    Background checks for guns, this again? How about background checks for congress and the president before being allowed to run for office.

    April 10, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. tyler blackburn

    enough with the gun bills already, its a total waste of time and tax payer $$$, anyone can go out and get ANY type of gun on the street. things have been that way for decades now.. how about spend more time on cutting government spending and give back to the taxpayers?

    April 10, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. ToldUSo

    This is perfect. It placates the 90% of Americans who want universal background checks while still allowing people to sell guns to criminals on the side. It's NRA-endorsed, so you know it does nothing.

    April 10, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Raul Isodo

    "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. "

    Let's use this as an opportunity to put the screws to our opponents once again, rather than to improve the legislation at hand. Yay, Congress. So much for government "of the people, by the people, for the people"....

    April 10, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Riceraw

    What about private sales??

    April 10, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Kent

    Strange I have had no emails from the NRA supporting any new gun legislation. I do get email depicting the lies the media generates bye saying the NRA supports it. This Bill is another total waste of time and tax dollars.

    April 10, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. Moving On

    And so now we can get back to dealing with the budget crisis and the economy?

    April 10, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. J. W.

    This is the first step toward full control of the people. How do you think the government can keep taking our money and dropping it down a 16 trillion dollar hole? The government employees lead a posh and cushy life at our expense and they will do anything to keep that scam going but they will need to control us and our ability to put up a fight

    April 10, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Richard Mckenzie

    Background checks for gun shows and internet sales are a great idea, but they will need a realistic execution.

    Access to these sources/procedures need to be straight-forward, easy to access, and easy to submit for all involved parties.

    Otherwise, I have no problems with this.

    April 10, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. dewed

    I'm still curious how this would have prevented Newtown.

    Or Aurora, or Virginia Tech, or Tucson, or Columbine.

    April 10, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. eric

    I love how the NRA keeps supporting these politicians who have already tried to infringe upon gun owners, Romney for instance, and now these two clowns.

    April 10, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. Michael

    ANY infringement on one amendment cracks the foundation of the Constitution and this country. The belief that any such laws will have a positive impact in simply hiding your head in the sand of wishful thinking. When they say "if it only saves one, it will be worth it", I reply with "and if it costs one life, the price is too high". You can not protect everyone from evil, no matter how much you may wish. But you can put countless people at risk with knee-jerk, feel-good laws.

    Enforce what is already on the books instead of hamper the people with more laws.

    April 10, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Bill

    More impotent posturing by elected officials. Pretty words put on paper that won't do a thing. They won't enforce or prosecute most laws on the books not, so go ahead and right some more that will only effect honest people.

    April 10, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. Grapelicks

    and this new law will stop shootings like Sandy Hook how?

    April 10, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Mike

    Thankfully none of this will make it past the Republican house because it is pointless. In both scenarios you are required to complete a background check before you can purchase a firearm, with the exception of private sales and it is illegal for the federal government to intercede in private matters. This is the first step in the government attempting to overstep their boundaries and the U.S. Constitution. You want some action? How about prosecuting the thousands of people that lie on their paperwork to obtain a firearm? Forty-four prosecutions out of thousands is a joke and hardly a deterrent.

    April 10, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. Will_NOT_Give_My_Rights_Away

    What if someone steals someones ID and uses it to randomly purchase guns on line then sells them illegally on the street, so much for on line background checks.....

    April 10, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Ron Harper

    Yup. They'll spend weeks on this and come up with 12,000 pages of nonsense that nobody understands, then they will force it through into law – so later we can start the archeology task of figuring out what it means and how many of our rights they have taken away. Heil Obama!

    April 10, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. tim

    vote libertarian!

    April 10, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Littlebylittle

    Chip, chip, chip away, chip, chip, another small piece of the 2nd amendment falls away. All for the good of the "children", they'll be safer now that the law abiding citizen has another hoop to jump through.

    April 10, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. nickdag

    I don't want to live in a world where the mentally ill can't own tanks.

    April 10, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. Dennis

    Now what is so hard about getting this done in Congress?...Background checks can keep plenty of weapons out of the wrong hands.There is no reason to not pass this type of legislation.

    April 10, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. Scott in Texas

    It's hard to see, because you have to look at our children and their unique culture, but if you do it's clear that the far right, and much of conservative thinking, is doomed and they can't see it.

    April 10, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. TJ

    wake up America. – 90% of us ar ein agreement. Let the other 10% leave

    April 10, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Arya Bagherpour

    Congress, why you make laws we no follow?

    April 10, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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