Today, gun rights advocates received some welcomed news as Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte declared today that she will stand firm against the Senate’s Toomey-Manchin amendment, leaving the dreaded compromise dead on arrival in the Senate.
In a statement, Ayotte claimed,
“There are responsible steps that can be taken to stop criminals and others who are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law from obtaining them. With those principles as a guide, I am cosponsoring the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which includes needed reforms to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, addresses mental health gaps in the criminal justice system, and criminalizes gun trafficking and straw purchases…
I believe that restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining and misusing firearms to commit violence. While steps must be taken to improve the existing background check system, I will not support the Manchin-Toomey legislation, which I believe would place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government into private gun sales.”
The amendment has received blowback from Republican Senators who, though initially supported debate on the issue, have voiced their lack of support for the compromise that is opposed by many gun rights advocates.
Republican Senator Richard Burr claimed on Tuesday that he would not support the amendment, noting,
“I supported having a debate on the issue of violent crime, but as I made clear from the outset, I will oppose any legislation that chips away at our Constitutional rights… After reviewing the current text of the Manchin-Toomey proposal, I have numerous Second Amendment, due process and privacy concerns that make the legislation too problematic for it to ever become law.”
Ayotte’s opposition to the amendment makes 41 senators against the amendment and makes the passage impossible as it needed 60 votes for passage. Unless a senator changes their vote prior to the vote at 4 PM today, the amendment is dead.
Gun rights activists have further reason to rejoice as Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed legislation into law today that nullifies federal gun control laws in Kansas.
The law declares that federal authorities have no power to regulate firearms or ammunition that was manufactured, sold or kept in the state of Kansas. The law makes it a felony for federal officials to try to enforce federal laws in such matters.
The signing of this law comes just 24 hours after Governor Brownback signed a law mandating drug testing for welfare recipients.
Anti-gun rights efforts are slowly losing momentum and though the fight for gun rights continues, the supporters of the Second Amendment won some hard-earned victories.