McCain Key Player in Background Check Expansion

McCain Key Player in Background Check Expansion

The Hill is reporting that John McCain (R-AZ), who has affixed his name to such legislation or proposed legislation as McCain-Feingold (CFR),  McCain-Kennedy (immigration) and McCain-Lieberman (climate change), is a key player in the quest to expand background check for gun purchasers.

Also “considering” signing on  are Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV).  The proposal contains some “compromises” such as letting “rural gun owners conduct background checks from their home computers. Another would give military veterans who have been declared mentally unfit to own a gun a process for appealing that finding.”

McCain has a B+ rating from the NRA and Heller has an A, for the time being. According to the Hill, their support for background checks lends some credibility to the effort to recruit further support from senate Republicans. Other possible supporters do not rate as well by the NRA, Collins has a C- and Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is already on board, has an F. 

Heller says he remains “open-minded” but shares concerns about private sellers being forced to maintain records. “Coburn and I share that concern only because you have to keep those records from 15 to 20 years and even proponents of the legislation say they would subject law-abiding citizens to stings by the ATF,” he said in reference to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) is helping Chuck Schumer with the negotiations. “Manchin said he is shopping the proposal widely, but declined Friday to reveal his lobbying list. ‘Anybody and every one of them. I’m talking to everybody,’ he said when asked to identify targeted Republican senators.”

The bill should come to the senate floor some time in April. 

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