Skip to comments.McCain emerges as key senator for expanding background checks
Posted on 03/24/2013 12:27:25 PM PDT by jazusamo
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has emerged as a key player if Senate Democrats are to have any chance of passing legislation to expand background checks for private sales of firearms.
McCain and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are at the top of a list of Republicans considered most likely to sign on to legislation expanding background checks after talks with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) stalled earlier this month.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has signaled he will likely support the yet-to-be-finalized proposal he negotiated with Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks to cover private gun sales, according to Senate sources.
The proposal includes modifications to attract Republican support. One would let 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.
Expanding background checks is the centerpiece of President Obamas proposal to change the nations gun laws in response to the mass shooting that killed 20 children in Newtown, Ct., last December.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has announced he will include background-checks legislation in a gun-violence package scheduled for the Senate floor in April, even though its uncertain whether it could gather the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
McCain could provide crucial Republican support because he has a "B-plus" rating from the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful interest groups in Washington. His endorsement could bring along Heller, who has an "A" rating from the NRA.
Collins and Kirk have weaker credentials on gun issues within Republican circles. Collins has a "C-plus" rating from the NRA and Kirk has an "F."
Manchin, who has an "A" rating from the NRA, has taken the lead in shopping the background-checks proposal to Republican lawmakers, said a Senate aide.
Manchin said he is shopping the proposal widely, but declined Friday to reveal his lobbying list.
Anybody and every one of them. Im talking to everybody, he said when asked to identify targeted Republican senators.
McCain said he has discussed extended background checks, but declined to reveal any details from those talks.
Weve had discussions about the issue, said McCain. I never describe my discussions with other senators.
A Senate aide said Collins has had conversations with Manchin over the past several weeks. Another Senate source said she has been approached about background checks.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he has also been approached by Manchin. He is open-minded about expanding background checks, but shares the concerns Coburn had over requiring private sellers to maintain records.
Heller said he wants to make sure felons and people suffering from mental illness do not have access to guns but is unsure about how to implement expanded background checks.
Weve had a couple of conversations. Weve had a couple of conversations, he said.
Heller wants to make sure that expanding background checks does not lead to a national registry of gun owners.
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.
But Heller said the record-keeping requirement for expanded background checks, which Schumer has insisted on, is a deal breaker.
I wouldnt say anything at this point is a deal breaker, he said.
Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is seen as another Republican who might support a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks. Coats has a "C-plus" NRA rating, which makes him an attractive target. But Coats on Friday denied that he has been approached by colleagues to back the Schumer-Manchin-Kirk proposal.
I dont know if Im the shopping list or not. No one has approached me, said Coats.
Coats said he wants to see the details of legislation on background checks before making a decision. He said he would oppose Sen. Dianne Feinsteins (D-Calif.) proposal to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons.
"Sen. Kirk remains largely supportive of the background check proposal so far negotiated between he and Sens. Manchin and Schumer, and he will continue negotiating for language to protect veterans' Second Amendment rights," said Lance Trover, Kirk's spokesman.
Gun-control advocates on Friday praised Reids decision to include a background-checks measure in the base gun-violence bill he will bring to the Senate floor.
I applaud Senator Reid for sending a bill to the Senate floor that includes comprehensive, enforceable background checks and for emphasizing that to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks, said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal guns. This sensible reform with overwhelming support from Americans, including gun owners will save lives and keep our communities safer.
Reid on Tuesday raised the possibility that he would leave it out of the base bill because of concern that Republicans might block the legislation if it included objectionable language on background checks.
On Thursday, Reid said he would include the background-checks legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week on a party-line vote. That provision will likely not garner 60 votes, but Schumer and other gun-control advocates hope Republicans can be found in the next few weeks to support a bipartisan alternative to expand background checks.
Folks....the GOP are going after your 2d Amendment and self defense rights. Wake Up
McCain isn’t going to be the only treasonous one here
No apology needed FRiend and I agree.
I would suppose that McCain now views his Senate seat as a personal possession and plans to will it to his daughter, Megan, when he retires.
I wonder if the Arizona voters will comply with his wishes...
We should be so lucky.
That doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about him. McCain is scum. Here are two collections of links that show just a little of what he has done to trash this country.
I believe you’re right. If they get to that point with a gun control law; DHS, DOJ or possibly both will just add new restrictions by enacting new regulations.
You might not know any of them.
But he speaks loudly and clearly for the fools who re-elected him and will do so again and again.
John Sellout McCain. In the interest of honesty and integrity, please switch parties. Thank you.
Can’t stand the jerk, but you are right. He got hit and jumped off the leading edge of his planes wing.
We think McStain is actually showing signs of senile dementia.
Why don’t go on trip back to Vietnam, wreck just one more plane for the thrill of it and never come back.
You are clearly senile and demonstrably unAmerican ....
In the 1980’s McCain was bought and paid for by Charles Keating. He, and the other four Democrat Senators comprising the Keating Five should have been tried and convicted for influence peddling, if not receiving bribes, by the George H.W. Bush administration. Unfortunately one of the Keating Five was John Glenn and there was no way America’s first man to orbit the earth was going to be prosecuted.
Glenn and the rest of Keating’s hip pocket Senators skated, including McCain. Keating was prosecuted and convicted. The American taxpayer was fleeced to bail out the S&L’s. In 2008 McCain suspended his presidential campaign during the financial crisis to race back to Washington and participate in the bailout negotiations for the Wall Street banks. Apparently he perceived his experience with the S&L bailout in the early 1990’s made him the man of the hour. As usual he looked like a fool.
No doubt if he caves on registration he’ll be featured on the Sunday talk show circuit and praised by the commentators. Perhaps he’ll take his boy Lindsay along with him for the victory lap.
With respect to honoring McCain for his war service, remember Benedict Arnold was a war hero for the American colonies until he changed sides. We do not “honor” him for his service today.
Wild Bill for America about Leftists with guns.
I’m not going to even comment on that.
And the Keating Five scandal he was involved in?
Has it been posted to GoogTube yet?
McCain/Boehner 2016 - let the republican leadership lead!
Can you imagine how bad *that* ticket would do? The only real question is why these old fools have any power at all.