Well, my first attempt to live blog today didn’t go so well when the Democratic gun control sponsors decided not to stream their press conference to the public after promising they would do so. With that, I’m moving on to the feds and their bill.
So far, we’ve just got lots of panning around the room looking at reporters.
Joe Manchin starts off, calling Pat Toomey his “good friend,” along with Chuck Schumer and Mark Kirk as being key to this gun control bill.
Manchin says there’s still a lot of work left to do. It’s a deal with Schumer, not a deal with Manchin. It’s not clear who is actually writing the bill.
Manchin says that we need a federal government commission to study violence.
Manchin is using the promotion words of anti-gun groups by calling this “gunsense.” He says that this bill is this “gunsense.”
He just keeps saying that it’s about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and insane people, but won’t offer specifics at all.
Manchin still loves Pat Toomey, his “dear friend.”
Toomey is now speaking.
Toomey applauds his staff for their work on the bill – the same staff who were telling voters that Pat Toomey wasn’t working with Manchin at all. Trust.
Toomey says that there’s no gun control in background checks at all. He won’t volunteer what kind of issues he’s promoting other than lots and lots of background checks.
Toomey now claims he didn’t seek out working on gun control, but then immediately complains about how there was a “risk” that no gun control would pass. He says he reached out to Manchin & Kirk.
He now points out that background checks aren’t a cure for crime.
Toomey says that no records would be mandated from private citizens, but he won’t volunteer exactly what he means by requirements of background checks at gun shows and online.
Toomey claims that gun owners get benefits, but he refuses to say what they are.
This will be an amendment, so those of us outside probably won’t see any language.
Manchin says he’s “been in dialogue” with NRA, but he admits that he can’t actually speak for how the organization will react.
In taking questions, Manchin is just repeating the same things he said earlier in the press conference. He claims that he strengthened his own personal gun rights, but he still won’t say what he’s actually promoting.
Toomey was asked if his NRA ‘A’ rating even matters to him, whether he’s worried about it. He says he only cares about what people want.
Toomey is asked if he’ll get more Republicans between him & Kirk. Toomey admits he has absolutely no idea if there’s any other Republican who supports this.
Manchin has pledged to vote for the bill, no matter what it is, if his amendment is on it. Toomey says that because other amendments could be added, he won’t pledge to vote for it.
Manchin is specifically asked about private sales, and he just says that gun sales at shows and online will be covered.
Toomey is challenged on the benefit for gun owners. He just gives an example, not a list. It sounds like strengthening FOPA while driving. It supposedly fixes where active duty military can buy guns.
Toomey is then asked whether the driving protections are a “first step” toward national concealed carry reciprocity. Manchin jumps in and say, “YES!” Toomey more quietly says that he supports it.
I’m assuming that there’s some content the reporters have that we don’t because there’s something about concealed carry licenses protecting you from arrest at NY airports while traveling.
Manchin promises that when he gave the talking points to his political friends back home and they are fine with it.
Toomey goes to the Morning Call for the last question. She asks him if he’s bringing along House Republicans from the Philly suburbs along on this bill. He said that there is interest, but they want to know what’s really in the bill first.