Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey talks out of both sides of his mouth as he becomes one of the most outspoken “conservative” voices defending background checks for gun purchases.
Toomey made the appeal to his fellow conservatives in the Senate by saying he doesn’t “consider criminal background checks to be gun control. I think it’s just common sense.”
“If you pass a criminal background check,” Toomey explained, “you get to buy a gun. No problem. It’s the people who fail a criminal or a mental health background check that we don’t want having guns.”
Toomey, who is up for re-election in 2014, went on to outline his reasoning for joining Manchin in putting together the compromise. He said that since he thought it was “inevitable” that some gun legislation would reach the Senate floor, he wanted to make sure that whatever bill does receive a vote does not infringe on Second Amendment rights. He added that “nothing in our amendment prevents the ownership of guns by any lawful person, and I wouldn’t support it if it did.”
“The common ground rests on a simple proposition,” Toomey said of the compromise. “And that is that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have guns. I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that premise, from either political party or whatever folks’ views might be on broader gun rights issues.”
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