Good, Bad or Ugly?: Gun Background Check Deal Brokered in Senate

Published on April 11, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 9.23.03 AMSenators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have agreed to a compromise on expanding current background checks for firearm purchasers. According to USA Today, the announcement came on Wednesday just as the Senate prepares to launch into a debate concerning other gun control proposals.

“I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control. It’s just common sense,” Toomey said at a news conference. “If you pass…you get to buy a gun. It’s the people who fail that we don’t want having guns.”

The amended bill will extend background checks to all commercial gun sales, including sales made at gun shows or “online.” Private transactions such as those between family or friends will not be covered under the deal. How precisely the online component of the bill works is unclear, as persons who purchase firearms on the internet and have the firearm transferred via a federally licensed dealer currently must undergo a standard background check as with any other firearm purchase from a dealer.

The Washington Post reports that the compromise will require federally licensed firearm dealers to verify and record each background check within three days. A commission will also be established to study mass shootings and present possible solutions to Congress.

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