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. jdk

    so what are the gun haters gonna do when a bunch of kids are killed with a legally bought, background check weapon?

    why do they think making people get background checks will prevent bad things from happening?

    dreamers. the world is a tough place with bad people in it and good people that go bad. deal with what is, not what should be.

    April 10, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Brad

    So a huge deficit and a tanking economy and the Senate needs two weeks to say "yeah, maybe its a good idea to do background checks." wtf

    April 10, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. tet1953

    BFD. I am definitely not opposed to even universal checks, but the detractors are right when they say it won't make a difference. Not a huge one, anyway. Would not have stopped these horrendous events that we've seen. I don't know what the answer is to be honest. It isn't the AR-15 either. Maybe 30-round clips should go though; no one needs those.

    April 10, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. American

    None of these laws will pass lol its all just media hype . I can't wait for a new president.

    April 10, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. rs

    Well, clearly this is just a very first step. It will put on record where the GOP stands in relation to the NRA and their insane "guns fer everyone" philosophies. Certainly the House were the nutty TEA Party GOP rule will be a much tougher battle. The point is though that individual legislators' vote will be on record and public. A "registry" if you will for the 90% of Americans who support common sense gun control.

    It will also be curious to see how far the GOP NRA trolls will go to push the silly Background checks lead to registries which lead to confiscations (and ultimately invasions from Mars). This is the perfect storm of GOP fantasy and NRA paranoia. These guys somehow believe that despite bank records, store customer lists, manufacturer records, internet activity logs and much more- that absolutely NO ONE knows they have guns. Sheer stupidity.

    April 10, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. are122

    I bet criminals and perspective criminals are shaking in their boots.

    April 10, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. JeffersonLives

    Well Toomey is going to lose re-election and any other Republican that touches this. In any case, it's dead on arrival in the House. Don't celebrate yet gun grabbers. Liberty will prevail in the end. Thank God.. 🙂 for Senators like Rand Paul, Cruz, Lee, and the other dozen or so that will try to derail this bill that even the ACLU has issues with.....

    April 10, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Stormer

    These politicians are ignorant and so out of touch. I have my Federal Firearms license and sell guns on the internet. Laws for both background checks at gun shows and internet sales already exist. Washington is so broken on both sides along with the news media. It seems that not one politician or reporter has actually spoken to someone who sells guns or actually knows the laws on selling guns. It's all about votes and their socialist agenda.

    April 10, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Dh

    Its dead on arrival in the house any way.

    April 10, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. n2it

    Will criminals subject themselves to these checks?

    April 10, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Neal

    Seems reasonable to go through some fact-finding to purchase firearms, just as you must now prove identity to vote in many states. Both are constitutionally-protected rights, but subject to verification of eligibility.

    April 10, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. jrcomo35713

    It seems like eons ago since we had a "bi-partisan" deal...its about time.

    April 10, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. idb

    Sad that no politician seems to want to address the real issues and therefore goes for the easy way. Why go after criminals by actually enforcing existing law if you can just pester law abiding citizens with useless legislation?

    April 10, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Mike

    Ted Barrett, please explain how this legislation will stop future incidents. It would certainly NOT have stopped the ones that have occurred in the last few decades.

    April 10, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. jerpell

    Hmm...And the economy is still a disaster!....

    April 10, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Jack

    Total BS, it will not save one life, ever in the history of this country...We are dumb!

    April 10, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. Marci

    Uh oh..this is just the beginning

    April 10, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. Borderless

    Anything Congress or this administration does for gun control will be nothing more than a watered down, symbolic act. No faith in this government. None.

    April 10, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Scott

    "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". This summarizes the weakness of our representatives right here: amendments get passed when the lobbying party LETS it pass. These are supposed to be OUR (the people's) leaders, yet they look to lobby groups for permission to even begin discussion of such bills. Representatives fear for their jobs, therefore they walk party lines and hide under the controlling groups, on both sides of the aisle. I hope more of our government leaders might gather the courage to stand up for themselves and say what THEY think, to engage in bi-partisan discussion (if not agreements), even IF it costs them their jobs. It's a hard sacrifice to make, but ultimately these people will be looked at with admiration and as heroes by the voting masses. Will the true leaders please step up, and the yes-men please sit down?

    April 10, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. j

    WHAT constitution??

    April 10, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. navaJohn

    I don't understand why background checks have been such a sticking point. It seems this deal doesn't include private sales so there's a loophole in the new law. What's the big deal, unless you're hiding something?
    Notice that assault rifles and large clips are off the negotiating table, and now it seems private sales checks are too. And STILL some in the GOP are threatening a filibuster. This is compromise? NOT!

    April 10, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. shawn l

    I support background checks at gun shows and internet sales. It's a common sense change.

    April 10, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  23. mattski

    Nice weapon in the video. Looks like an American Arms tactical shotgun. I own one. Love it. Mine is the full 5-cartridge magazine. I have no problem with background check for all. I've had a background check done on me for every gun I've every purchased. No big deal for a law-abiding citizen.

    April 10, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  24. SamT

    What are the details?

    April 10, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. abigail smith

    glad to see compromise is possible in Washington D.C.

    April 10, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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