Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that expanding background check requirements for purchasing guns was “on the table” in the Senate negotiations on a gun package.
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, it’s a big complicated problem. And most attempts to try to create any kind of solution have stopped. But Democrats and Republicans we just mentioned are negotiating right now to get something. Democrats need 10 Republican votes. You’re one of six Republicans working with Senator Chris Murphy, he said today, that you all are writing this legislation right now. It will not ban assault weapons, it will not have comprehensive background checks as part of it. Is your proposal to expand background checks still in it?
TOOMEY: Well, I certainly hope we’re going to have an expansion of background checks. You know, Senator Manchin and I have been working on this for a long time. And we’ve tried to establish that, at least for commercial sales of firearms, there ought to be a background check. So sales at gun shows, sales that are advertised over the internet. I don’t know that we’ll get exactly what Senator Manchin and I developed some years ago, it’d probably be something different than that. And that’s fine. There are a number of mechanisms you could use to expand background checks. But I just think it makes sense. We all agree that violent criminals and deranged dangerously mentally ill people shouldn’t have firearms. So we need a mechanism to increase the likelihood that will identify such a person and prevent them from buying a gun legally anyway-
BRENNAN: So to-
TOOMEY: -and so that’s the idea behind expanding background checks.
BRENNAN: So to be clear, because you had proposed the Manchin-Toomey background check expansion in 2013, 2015, 2019. You’re saying what’s surviving right now is essentially a watered down version of that. How is it different?
TOOMEY: Well- this is a moving target, if you will, we’re still in discussions, and we are still trying to figure out exactly what mechanism is going to enable us to get the votes that we would need. So- so I can’t be precise about that. Margaret, it hasn’t been finally resolved. But something in the space of expanding background checks, I think is very well, it certainly is on the table, and I hope it’ll be part of a final package.
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