In a surprising display of putting politics over commitment to the Constitution, two previously pro-gun senators have turned on the National Rifle Association regarding gun control legislation.
Sens. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have introduced an amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases. It makes it more difficult for millions of private gun owners to sell their firearms, such as at gun shows. In response, the NRA released a statement that says in part:
Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s “universal” background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows… We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago [and] addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone….
This is not the first time Toomey has broken with constitutional conservatives. He previously called for the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, at a time when he was not in public office and did not need to weigh in one way or the other on that intersection of the gay-rights agenda and national security policy.
Toomey is a senator from a swing state, and conservatives are becoming increasingly concerned that he will not be a reliable vote on constitutional issues when the polls suggest popular support for liberal proposals.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is a fellow with the American Civil Rights Union.