Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) released the following statement on Republican obstruction of the gun safety compromise measure introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) to strengthen strengthen background checks and close the gun show loophole.
"There is one, and only one, reason why the GOP opposed this amendment, and that's the NRA. Senate Republicans have no substantive reasons to oppose this moderate proposal that included real concessions on each side," Lautenberg said. "We must not give up on efforts to strike compromise on reforms that can prevent dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands."
Senator Lautenberg's proposal to close the gun show loophole was at the heart of the Manchin-Toomey compromise amendment. Sen. Lautenberg has been working to close the gun show loophole since 1999, when he first introduced legislation to require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows. Later that year--in the wake of the Columbine tragedy, where three of the weapons were purchased at gun shows without a background check--a Republican-controlled Senate passed Sen. Lautenberg's legislation as an amendment to a juvenile justice bill. The legislation passed by one vote, with Vice President Gore casting the tie-breaking vote. However, the gun lobby killed the legislation in the House-Senate conference.