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. jonathon mack

    Good News!!! A Big win for America.

    April 10, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Guns ordered over the internet must be sent to a local FFL where a background check is performed.
    Less than 2% of firearms used in crime are bought at gun shows.

    April 10, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. tkindsm

    Background checks for all weapon purchases? Great lets do it. Universal Federal registration lists of all legally owned guns – heck no. Having a federal list isn't going to stop any criminal. A background check though may be a good way to screen out a few nuts.

    April 10, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Won't stop another Newtown from happening, no law ever will.

    April 10, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. Bryan

    Token change.....the US is weak

    April 10, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Craig

    Thank god I live in Canada and not living the so called American dream. Not really sure what Americans mean by that.. I would also like to say congrats on Wilcox highschool for finally waking up and smelling what the rest of the world has been doing for the past 100 yrs.. If you own a gun you must be stupid and can't fight

    April 10, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Al

    Will not change a thing. Will not stop the law breaker from doing horrible acts. Just more paperwork for the law abiding Americans. While cars and bats take more lives each year and our econmony is in the dumper you liberals chase another rabbit. America is FED up with you.

    April 10, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Guest

    Because all criminals buy their guns from a gun store.

    April 10, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. silencedogood

    Nothing about what the actual deal is. Great reporting CNN.

    April 10, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. T

    "Democratic leaders also argue any bill they put on the floor will represent a substantial improvement in gun safety."

    I would really like to know how what they've proposed will do anything to improve gun safety? They aren't including mental health aspects, and they have tossed out magazine limits (which I don't care either way on) and the AWB (which I don't agree with).

    I actually don't mind a registry, so long as it's not maintained by a government agency and the information could only be accessed via a warrant if the gun were used in a crime.

    April 10, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Kthegreat123

    Why can't we just have a 'clean' bill with no amendments?

    April 10, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Hillcrester

    All is will take is a few more pre-teens killing a friend or family member and just maybe a few Senators owned by the evil NRA will break their chains and do the "right" thing.

    April 10, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Brian

    By amendments, they mean taking on items completely unrelated to the gist of the bill. I'm guessing their first amendment will be something to limit the affordable health care act.

    April 10, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Antonio

    Guns should only be in the hands of the military and law enforcement...

    April 10, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Lee

    As a gun owner who is OK with reasonable refinements existing gun laws, I am OK with extending background checks to gun shows and internet sales. Most gun shows are dominated by dealers who will just as likely do them anyway to avoid risking their FFL dealer license and sales over the internet in many cases, involves the interstate transfer of the gun which also requires a background check at a FFL dealer, as they must receive the gun (except for holders of curio & relic licenses). In other words, this is already often done, but I sure some loopholes have been closed.

    Having bought and sold guns a number of times, it is no real big deal doing the background check process of to gauge if you likely be a responsible gun owner. (e.g.not a felon, addict, spouse abuser, nor history of mental illness). Have gone through process many times. The only irritation is when the FBI personnel get overloaded with checks to do at the given moment and you have to wait a couple of days for them to catch up.

    A MUCH BIGGER IRRITATION is when a gun shop, where the background check must be done, charges an exorbitant fee for only a few minutes for their time to run the check. Many will charge upwards to $50 if they are not making the sale themselves. It would be GREAT if the pending legislation capped the amount the fee that could be charged to a modest amount (say, $10-$15).

    April 10, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Jc

    Oh, did CNN actually report why some in the GOP wanted to filabuster the bill? What they missed was that until now the legislation was take it or leave it, which was a waste of time and a political game. Why would liberals, who claim to be so interested in gun control, offer a bill that can't pass? Because they want to make the GOP look bad for voting against gun legislation. The real problem is that liberals held the bill hostage till now. Glad they stopped posturing and got it done.

    April 10, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. joe d

    I would have appluaded with a standing ovation if 26 congressman were shot instead of the sandy hook victims..

    April 10, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. bru308

    What about all the knives? Background checks for knives too, pleeeaaassseee!

    April 10, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Republicans are just as much traitors as the democrats are. The Republicans will cave on the issue to get other things they want that have nothing to do with it.

    I remind all of you that via Mr. Obama, the United Nations recently passed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Legally, no member of the U.S. Government can enter into, negotiate, or support any treaty that is contrary to their oath of office.

    There will be no compromises Mr. Obama. Except for the panzies that live in New York and a few other areas, the people will not allow you to take, or restrict, or register any firearms.

    If any thing is passed, it will result in an illegal law which no citizen will have any legal obligation to obey, and will probably result in armed conflicts within the United States as the country plunges into civil war.

    April 10, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Seattle Sue

    I brought my first gun in 1973 ( a Remington 30-06) I had to fill out paper work at the time I brought it. In the past 40 years that I have owned this gun, no one has ever been to my house to take it from me. The only person that I know personally to have a gun taken from him, was a man that was hunting illegally in a water shed. He also had his pickup truck taken from because of this illegal activity. From this point of view I think he deserved this punishment.

    April 10, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |

    Obama has offered not one single word on the gang bangers killing children DAILY in Chicago. Why?? Cuz Chicago is proof that more gun laws don't work!!!!!!!!!!

    April 10, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Animal

    Same problem. People who see their job as to make laws after laws after more laws, don't know anything about the subject that they want to make laws about. What's worse yet is that they lie about the circumstances. On top of that, they get paid for it.

    April 10, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. 82ndABNVET

    Just because you call it "Bi-partisan", doesnt really make it so. 2 Republicans (more moderate Republicans at that) do not count as a bi-partisan force.

    It would impress me more if there were even just 5 Republicans that signed onto this bill. That, I would count as bi-partisan.

    In the end, these laws will only effect legal, law abiding gun owners/purchasers. Drug dealers, thugs, gang bangers, and those alreay unable to legally purchase a gun will continue buying them on the black market or by stealing them from gun owners houses.

    This is not addressing the real problem. This would not have stopped Aurora or Newtown. This also would not have stopped that drive by that claimed the life of the girl whom had just participated in the Presidents inaguration.

    The real problem is getting those types of people off the street.

    April 10, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. Darkseider

    Meh... this will go nowhere and Toomey and Manchin are jobless come election time. At least the people know who to get rid of.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. ComeOnNow

    Let the watering down of legislation to the point it is ineffective begin.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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