U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today issued the following statement regarding the amendment introduced by Senators Toomey, Manchin, Schumer and Kirk expanding background checks:
"Having carefully reviewed the Manchin-Toomey legislation, unfortunately, I do not believe it would be effective in preventing the kind of heartbreaking loss of life seen in Newtown or in other recent tragic incidents. It does, however, contain several provisions that would make it more difficult for law-abiding Ohioans to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. I do believe there are actions Congress can and should take to reduce gun violence without infringing on Second Amendment rights, and I look forward to supporting such amendments.
"This includes legislation that not only helps ensure those suffering from mental illness have access to the treatment they need, but also enforces and improves rules already on the books that limit their ability to threaten themselves and their communities. For instance, I will be supporting amendments to improve background checks by strengthening state reporting of individuals who courts have found to be mentally ill.
"As we continue the debate, I also look forward to supporting legislation to improve school safety and to crack down on gun trafficking and on those who knowingly bypass current law to get weapons in the hands of violent criminals.
"I also strongly support efforts to address the underlying problem of violence and the glorification of gun violence in popular culture."