The Senate firearms bill which was advanced for debate with a 68-31 vote last week has failed to attract the necessary 60 votes for passage.
The Toomey-Manchin compromise appears to have the best chance of passing. The purpose of the bill it to expand background checks but exempts transactions between relatives and friends. Opponents say criminals will ignore the bill and it infringes on the Second Amendment.
The Toomey-Manchin bill has raised numerous Second Amendment, due process and privacy concerns.
The data mining from this bill sets up the framework for a potential national registry. While the measure does not establish a national registry and it is intended to keep guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill and criminals, there is a dangerous exception which allows the DOJ Attorney General to pass any regulations he wants: (4)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, except for section 923(m), the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.
The bill proposes a study to determine whether medical doctors and other mental health professionals have the ability, without negative legal or professional consequences, to notify law enforcement officials when a patient is a danger to himself or others. This would be done without due process and would require the patient to go through difficult bureaucratic procedures to get his/her gun rights back. Due process is ignored under this clause.
Transport of weapons is specified in the bill with government overseers and tight regulations. The only ones bound by this would be legal gun owners.
Senator Reid offered a “deal” to Republicans according to Senator Schumer but Schumer did not specify what the deal was.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. said Monday the measure would cover too many gun transactions.
“It would likely even extend to message boards, like the one in an office kitchen. This simply goes too far,” he posted on his Facebook page.
There are four Republicans who have voiced support for the bill but the Democrats still need one more Republican vote.
There are about 41 Republicans who are now opposed to the bill which would be enough to block the bill’s passage. Both sides are fighting hard for the votes and anything could happen. Even if it passes, the bill has to face the House where it might fail.
Sen. Lautenberg, who is up for re-election, has not been available for the debate and said it is because he is suffering from muscle weakness. He might be back for the vote but don’t count on it.