Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Manchin/Toomey Compromise On Background Checks

Shall Not Be Questioned pointed me to Sen. Toomey (R-PA)'s press release, and shares my reaction: if the bill is as advertised, they get relatively little (a requirement for background checks at gun shows and "online sales" which really means...what?); we get substantial advantages:

1. Does not affect private party sales other than at gun shows and online.

2. Does not affect intrafamily and temporary transfers.

3. Requires background checks at gun shows to be completed or allowed within 48 yhours, cutting back to 24 hours several years from now, as NICS improves.

4. Cuts off funding to states that do not provide criminal conviction and mental hospital commitment records to NICS.

5. Provides protection for veterans who are put on the NICS list based on disabilities.

6. Appears to extend the Firearms Owners Protection Act so that if you are driving through New York State with a gun unloaded and secured in the trunk, you can stop the night for lodging, or for a meal.  Some states currently only allow you to stop for "biological necessity" (by which they don't mean eating a meal) to avoid being sent to prison.

7. Permits interstate purchases of handguns from dealers -- which may be a big deal if you live on the edge of a state with many gun dealers, but you are a resident across that state line.

8. Criminalizes creating a gun registry: 15 years in prison.

Again: we'll have to read the bill to be sure that it does what they claim.  If so, this is a largely symbolic gain for them (few gun show sales are not by dealers), and real gains for us.  It would appear that Democrats have figured out that they need to throw a bone to the gun control crowd, but not do anything too serious that would endanger Democrats running in pro-gun states next year.


  1. If the "purchase handguns from out of state FFLs" provision is coupled with an OK to mail those guns, that's a pretty big step forward.

  2. I rather doubt mail order is going to happen (because of background check requirements), but even this is a step in the right direction. It means more competition in the handgun market at gun shows, because out of state FFLs can sell handguns there, and an Idahoan could buy a handgun at a gun show in Wyoming or Oregon.

  3. I agree with your assessment so far. I hope that on the Senate Floor, our side attaches some amendments to:

    Provide national concealed carry reciprocity.
    Repeal section 922(o).
    Make FOPA violations subject to civil rights claims.

  4. It does sound more symbolic than substantive which is the best news possible. Puzzled to how these new laws would be or could be enforced very well. At least the harassment of the private seller may not happen in most cases.

    Interestingly Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly were on Anderson 360 (CNN) last night (4/9) and he was shown shooting a Glock 17 from their Arizona backyard--appears to be large desert property. He was clearly doing PR that he isn't an evil anti-gun guy. They claimed the pistol is hers. More PR....

    They conceded most of their goals don't have a snowballs chance in hell of getting passed so they are mostly focused on the background check thing now so I'm sure they are players in the bone throwing.

    BTW, Risch was also on there so you might want to go to CNN.COM and watch it. KTVB did show that on their broadcast last night.

    I have never made a private sale. If I did and unless I personally know the person I would ask to see their CCW license or at least their driver's ID and check them for history here in Idaho. Easy to do from the state repository website.

    Now if they would make a free or very cheap access to the NICS for private sales I'm sure most people would do it as long as there is no paperwork required....

  5. If this is the proposal it does sound more pro-gun than anti.

    Interstate sales through FFLs would be "a big f***ing deal" to quote a certain VP. Panhandle residents (pick a state, any state) would no longer have to drive long distances to go shopping. (Think anywhere on the FL panhandle, western MD, northern WVA, and, as for border country, how far is it from Moscow, ID to Pullman, WA?)

    And #8 on that list is vital.

    Next on my wish list would be a national recognition of concealed carry. Today's laws are too big and involved a patchwork quilt of regulations. Won't happen any time soon, I know, that's why it's a wish list.

  6. Of course, there's that whole thing allowing your doctor to get you added to the "no guns for you" system without your knowledge and without recourse. Couple that with allowing doctors to be sued for not reporting anyone who later does anything and we'll all be on it for belonging to the NRA.

  7. Meanwhile, New York state is confiscating firearms from people who PREVIOUSLY had a prescription for anti-anxiety medication, and Missouri apparently provided DHS their complete list of concealed carry permit holders, apparently to pursue the same policy.

    Perhaps the bill is a smokescreen?

  8. Rob Crawford, but I thought there was no connection between the psychotropic medicines and the various mass shootings. Is there backchatter that isn't making it even to rumor level?