Republican support of expanded background checks collapses in Senate

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:29 EDT
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Joe Machin in hearings
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The U.S. Senate will not include expanded background checks in its new gun safety bill Wednesday. According to NBC News, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) warned that the measure does not have enough votes in the Senate to pass.

“We will not get the votes today,” he said, explaining that certain Republican Senators who were expected to support the checks have waffled. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) are apparently to stand up for the measure and risk inflaming a conservative base already fuming over the men’s attempt to lead their party on immigration reform.

Supporters of the measure are expected to fall four or five votes short of passing the proposal, a gulf that could widen if conservative Democrats back out of the deal.

The proposal to expand background checks is one of a brace of gun safety proposals expected to come to a vote on Wednesday. At issue are also restrictions on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, both of which are expected to lose, and a proposal that would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states. That proposal, sponsored by Republican Senators, is expected to pass.

Gun safety advocates have vehemently opposed the state permit modification, in that it will allow easy trafficking of guns from less regulated states into states with stricter laws.

Many states, like New York, have far more stringent concealed carry laws than the national average. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to New York’s concealed carry statute that requires applicants demonstrate an affirmative need for such a permit.

[image via manchin.senate.gov, Creative Commons licensed]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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