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. WillyNilly

    Please take some time today to contact your congress people and the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate to let them know that you support the families in their lobbying efforts regarding expanded background checks and the banning of large capacity magazines. Also, if you support the banning of assault type weapons, tell them. If you do not express your views, you will not be heard.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. icurheinie

    If this does not pass, we are essentially saying that it is okay for a few innocent people to die every now and then as "collateral damage". Barbaric. We're talking about rudimentary background checks here, that even if they saved a single life, would be worth it.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Milo

    wonder if they would include a national gun registry?

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. thatgrlinaz

    There should be term limits in both the congress and the senate. That way those who only care about the next election and getting the most money they can from corporate lobbyists instead of the citizens of this country could be out. Enough of this rigging the districts that the GOP seems so proud of and NO money from ANY corporations they can help along the way. And NO elected official should be allowed to work for ANY corporation who they may be able to help like pharmaceutical or oil/energy companies, banks or financial institutions (anywhere but especially NOT on Wall St) for at least 10 yrs after leaving office. It is time elected officials work for Americans, not their own bank accounts. And this crap of work 2 wks, take 1 or 2 (and more) weeks "recess" is a crock of bull. I DO NOT pay their wages, etc to have them take vacation so they can go work Tues thru Thursday evening,then fly home that nite or Fri AM to earn money from corporate donors, while still on my dime. It is so obvious the GOp can't win fairly or honestly so they have found a way to screw us citizens and rig every election. All the way to putting plants on the supreme court who also gets their share of "kick backs" and favors from filthy corporate America. Why are we still subsidizing Exxon/Mobile? They made over $141 million in profits last year alone. So why do they still get "small business" tax breaks and other funds from my tax dollars. Greed, corruption and lies have taken over corporate industries AND GW bush and tricky dick chaney set that up by manipulating energy policy and they set up America to financially fail by lying and committing treason to start a war instead of hunting the 9/11 murdering masterminds. All in that corrupt administration will clearly be answering to God. Sadly not soon enough. The dirt under my feet is cleaner than any of them. Including Rumsfeld, rice and that pond scum wolfewicz.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Joe dohn

    Very much needed.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. Captain Obvious

    91% of Americans are in favor of background checks. How about you do your job, Congress, and listen to the people paying your damn paycheck. Not that you've earned it a day of your life.

    April 10, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. Medical Tech

    Where is Feinstein? She disappeared all of a sudden. We want to see Bloomberg's, Feinstein's and all other loud gun ban talkers' faces after nothing passes even the Senate. Ct, NY and CHI got the laws they want. Liberals need to respect States that do not want any ban. It is not their business to force all States to have the same law. They can decide for themselves. They need to respect States' decision. I ain't voting for ANY politician if they are supporting any ban. (even if the ban does nto pass) All purpose of this is to collect who has what gun. Next is confiscation. It si a trick with a frist step through the door. Once they are in, we will have to register all guns and keep limited ammo. Nay Nay Nay Nay !!!

    April 10, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. John Buck

    Vote no background checks!

    April 10, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. NDresearch

    So an agreememnt to propose legiislation in the Senate, that might not pass, is a "Deal on background checks." What about the house? This bill has no chance of passing the house. Why is this article NOT in the opinion section, it's pure propaganda!

    April 10, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. AL

    I have no problems with amendments as long as they are related. There should be a law (constitutional) stating that amendments must be related. You should not be allowed to add a "build my state a highway" amendment on a healthcare bill, or gun bill, or foreign debt relief bill, etc. You can add a "build my state a highway" on an infrastructure bill...that's it.

    April 10, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. coyote

    Well – from the picture I assume you are going to require back ground checks for rifles, single shot, hunting guns, shot guns, which means that those that had them for protection just because they didn't want to fill out the paperwork or PAY for the permits to own a hand gun will now just get a hand gun. – Was that your intention? – cause it will be the result.

    April 10, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. blue dog

    Democracy at work.

    April 10, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. Thomas Jefferson Party

    CNN – Get your facts straight before you report them. It is current law that when a firearm is purchased on the internet and shipped it must be shipped to a licensed dealer first. A licensed dealer has to perform a background check on all sales, including gun shows and internet sales and they are audited by the ATF regualarly.

    April 10, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. John C

    Funny, I never read the section in the Bill of Rights were a "deal" had to be made for the people to exercise their rights. It must be a new section added in the latest edition.

    April 10, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. FoxyRoxy

    WHy are LAW abiding citizens going to being punished? These people in office are voting in the new Nazi regime by taking gun rights away. Just like the Nazis of WW2 took away the Jews guns, background checks=gun registration=confiscation=slavery then slaughtering.

    You all have been warned.

    These senators are out of hand and civil disobedience only goes so far in a soon to be tyranny government.

    April 10, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Dude Love

    Long overdue.

    April 10, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. thesaj

    Senator Pat Toomey, you've lost my vote and I hope you choke on a tortilla chip.

    April 10, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. Jeb

    90% of the American people are for universal background checks. The GOP has promised to filibuster any legislation that creates this.

    It's clear that the GOP is more interested in protecting gun industry profits than the American people.

    April 10, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Shelly

    I don't fully understand how background checks help. You think it is going to stop a criminal from buying a gun illegally? No. Adam Lanza would have passed a background check (had he been old enough of course). So did his mom. I am so glad I bought all the guns I pretty much want already and won't have to deal with this crap. Good Luck Rand Paul with your filibuster!

    April 10, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Adam

    NRA won't get any more money from me. They no longer represent my firm belief in the constitution.

    April 10, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. colin in Florida

    I am a gun owner, though far from a fanatic (I own a pair of .22's that I use for occasional target shooting and 'plinking'). And I favor thorough background checks-felons and the mentally disturbed should not be allowed to own guns. the current 'gun show loophole' makes background checks a joke.

    But what disturbs me is this: "Democratic leaders ... if they want to pass substantive legislation to respond to the mass shootings that have plagued the nation in recent years."

    In NONE of the mass shootings that have occurred recently would a background check have made any difference. Changes in MENTAL HEALTH laws might have prevented some of the disasters, but yesterdays mass stabbing CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE that gun control will not prevent insane behavior.

    If they want to make a difference, they need to work on mental health laws, not gun laws.

    April 10, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Slim

    Every internet sale I've seen is done through a local FFL which receives the firearm and then does the background check before releasing said firearm to you (rifles, pistols etc...). Every dealer at a gun show I've been to does the same background check. Pretty sure private face-to-face sales, used weapons, are the only ones not required and on pistols they generally still need to be registered – murky on this as I have never transacted this way but the others are all confirmed on a national basis despite what this article may say.

    Really trying to figure out what they are passing given that internet sales and dealers at gun shows already have the background check process in place (which obviously the media has no clue about or to build support wants the ignorant public to believe this). Either way, none of this would have helped in the tragedy in CT.

    Honestly, given all the hoopla on this and misinformation, along with the absolutely horrendous management record that has been our government for several decades (fiscal mismanagement, votes for promises etc...), the public should be watching their elected officials like hawks and deeply investigating these issues. Most of them are more concerned with their personal gravy train than any kind of true service. Keeping a bloated Federal government running at full steam is their goal, service is not, and the 2nd Amendment was specifically designed to provide right and ability to reject a bad government. Be very careful with the infringements you allow, per the constitution there should be none, but my sense is far too many "big government" or insulated "super wealthy" see the people's rights as a potential threat to themselves.

    April 10, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. judith

    This will no doubt be a tiny step forward, yet it is a step forward. No one would have thought it was at all possible before Newtown, however. Time to break the stranglehold of the NRA and the gun manufacturers on public policy.

    April 10, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Richard

    I get it, we have had mass shootings and in most cases the gun man kills himself or what not. We are upset and pissed off as parents and somebody needs to pay, pay for my child dying pay for my wife or husband or brother being killed, Somebody has to pay because I am angry and upset and have no where to direct my grief. I can't sue the gunman he is dead, and the weapons makers are untouchable, I can't sue the school it is not their fault. I know I will go after everyone who has a gun or wants to own one, or thought about having one. I will go after everyone because I am mad and upset, it is their fault, if we did not have guns there would be no killing, so I am going after everyone, they need to feel my pain........... This is what us as law abiding gun owners are dealing with, come on, I know you are hurt, and angry and in pain. But did I cause this? Did I make anyone do anything? Then WHY go after me and my fellow owners. This is legislation passed on emotion and not passed on presidence of constitutional law making procedures. You are making it my fault when it is not, and anyone involved with the president and what he is doing now should be ashamed of themselves for using this emotional convience to get an agenda passed. Shame on all of you.

    April 10, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. Voter

    Waste of time. I can still buy as many knives as I want at Wal Mart or Target. I hear that most supermarkets carry "assault knives" now.

    April 10, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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