GOP senators oppose background check compromise
April 15th, 2013
09:46 PM ET
10 years ago

GOP senators oppose background check compromise

Washington (CNN) – Four Republican senators who were on the fence about a bipartisan compromise on gun control said on Monday they would now oppose the measure.

Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Richard Burr of North Carolina told CNN of their plans regarding the deal struck by Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, to expand background checks to private transactions at gun shows and in online sales.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced his decision on his Facebook page.

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“(The agreement) would expand background checks far beyond commercial sales to include almost all private transfers – including between friends and neighbors – if the posting or display of the ad for a firearm was made public. It would likely even extend to message boards, like the one in an office kitchen. This simply goes too far,” Flake wrote.

The Senate is expected to take up a package of gun proposals this week, starting with the Manchin-Toomey amendment. The overall gun package also contains measures to crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases, and finding ways to improve school safety.

Earlier in the day, Manchin told CNN a vote on his amendment would be pushed back to try and build more support in order to get the 60 votes that are effectively needed for passage.

Asked if the vote would take place Tuesday or Wednesday, as supporters had hoped, Manchin said he didn't think so.

"I would say by the end of the week, probably," he added.

Four Republicans have voiced support or said they were leaning in favor of supporting the amendment. With at least two moderate Democrats from pro-gun states known to oppose the measure, it needs at least seven GOP votes to have any chance of passing.

Flake said he supports background checks but believes the current system need to be strengthened.

He mentioned a bill he’s co-sponsoring with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, that will focus on “clarifying who should not be able to obtain a firearm due to mental illness.”

Flake said he believes their approach is “preferable, and more workable” than mental health provisions in the Manchin-Toomney plan.

“I will oppose the Manchin-Toomey amendment,” he wrote.

Separately, gun control proponents postponed an initiative scheduled for Tuesday due to the bombing in Boston. The coordinated event, run by the advocacy group Organizing for Action, would have organized supporters to call their senators and urge them to support the current gun legislation.

- CNN’s Tom Cohen and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. wmontanye

    Well there are 4 that need to be voted out....

    April 15, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. Larry L

    The gutless Republicans are simply afraid of the N.R.A. – and their hateful, fearful, and bigoted base of right-wing extremists.

    April 15, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain: Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. - SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia, District of Columbia v. Heller

    Wow, who'd a predicted GOP Senators would be against compromise?!?

    April 15, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. Getoverit

    Hey CNN, how many Democrats oppose it?

    April 15, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein

    If you oppose it, propose something that you consider better. Frankly I don't see anyone putting it forward.

    April 15, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Republicans are generally opposed to any form of compromise. If they block this bill, already watered-down to satisfy the right-wing extremists, the blood of many people, likely many children, will be on their hands. They are cowards too afraid of the N.R.A. "report card" to save the lives of children.

    April 15, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Richard Burr of North Carolina.

    If it was up to these Southern Gentlemen , Slavery would have never ended , not in there states .

    April 16, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  8. MaryM

    America knows the GOP opposes whatever Is good for Americans

    April 16, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  9. Peg AZ

    Flake is assuring he is a one-term Senator

    April 16, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  10. Donna

    We don't need any more useless laws on the books that solve no problems but hassle and harass law abiding citizens. They need to start enforcing the thousands of gun laws already on the books before creating any more. It is just common sense.

    April 16, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Too bad that once these yellow bellied rethugs do fall off the fence they don't disappear into oblivion!

    April 16, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  12. Warren

    There are 4 that can go...

    April 16, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  13. Gurgyl

    GOP is so radical. Get them out in 2014. I do not surprise if they are involved in Boston incident with NRA idiots to divert the attention just like third world tricks.

    April 16, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I don't want to speculate, but I'm about 60% convinced the Boston bombing was conducted by a 2nd Amendment right wing nut. They know the gun debate is the week, and they will go to any length to distract attention from the gun debate. Just a theory.

    April 16, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |