Thursday, 11 April 2013

Senate votes to proceed on gun control measures

Senate votes to proceed on gun control measures, The US Senate Thursday morning voted 68-31 to begin debate and the amendment process of gun control measures. Those measures could include background checks and the renewing of the assault weapons ban.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev), who spoke after this morning’s vote noted the Toomey/Manchin amendment would likely be the first amendment debated. Reid thanked those from the Republican Party who voted to proceed, saying “America has a different view,” of gun violence due to recent tragedies like Sandy Hook.

The Compromise amendment that will be sought by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of Virginia, calls for commercial background checks on internet and gun show sales, but does not seek background or recording keeping for private sales between family members.

Before today’s vote, Republican Senator Joe Cornyn of Texas called the debate and vote on the Senate’s bill nothing but a “symbolic gesture,” to make it look like Congress was taking action. He suggested that instead of background checks, Congress should pass laws that would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

We need to see that “mentally ill get the help they need, not a gun,” Cronyn said.

Polls show 90 percent of Americans are in favor or expanding background checks for those who purchase guns. President Obama also favors renewing the ban on military type assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Reid suggested the assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limit would be brought up during the bill’s amendment process.

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