In this week's print edition (hitting streets right now), I have a a look at the latest on the efforts to push expanded background checks on gun sales through the U.S. Senate as it returns to work this week. (I have a longer and somewhat dated piece on the challenges to enacting background checks here, if you're really feeling like digging into the topic.)
This morning, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they had developed a proposal to require background checks on sales at gun shows and via the internet:
The New York Times reports:
Under the terms of the agreement, background checks for gun buyers would expand to gun shows and online sales — a huge portion of gun sales that are made without the background checks used by gun stores — and it would maintain record-keeping provisions that law enforcement officials find essential in tracking criminal gun use, but that gun rights groups find anathema.
The bill would also modify the current measure, which will receive a procedural vote on Thursday, in other key ways. For example, the background checks provision would extend to fewer gun buyers than many gun control groups — and some Democrats in the Senate — would like. Sales between family members, for instance, would be exempt.
Further, other provisions of the current background component of the gun safety bill were removed, including one requiring that each state validate another state’s concealed carry permits and another one limiting Internet sales to five or more guns per year.
Talking Points Memo reports that the NRA is unhappy with the proposal.