Skip to comments.Pat Toomey's Response to My Email Re: Manchin-Toomey
Posted on 04/30/2013 6:09:45 AM PDT by Castigar
I sent an email to Senator Toomey urging him to oppose the Senate gun control efforts even in the face of his Manchin-Toomey legislation. Here is his response - I'm sure it's canned:
Thank you for contacting me about national firearms policy. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
Like many Pennsylvanians, I have long been a supporter of the Second Amendment. Americans have an individual right to bear arms for self-protection, hunting and recreation. In fact, during my tenure in the House of Representatives (1999-2005), my record of supporting gun owners' rights earned me an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
As important as Second Amendment rights are, our society recognizes that these rights do not apply to criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. Writing for the conservative majority in the landmark Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the court struck down the D.C. gun ban, Justice Antonin Scalia stated, "Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill...or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." In other words, Justice Scalia affirmed that laws preventing criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining firearms do not infringe on the Second Amendment.
As you know, I recently introduced an amendment, along with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), to the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 (S. 649). Our amendment had three parts. The first was to improve state compliance with the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The second part was to expand background checks to commercial sales at gun shows or through the internet. These first two parts of our amendment were designed to make it more difficult for criminals and dangerously mentally ill persons to acquire firearms. The third part would have provided law abiding citizens with expanded opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment Rights.
With regard to the first part of the amendment, NICS relies on states to provide records of persons who should not possess firearms. Compliance varies greatly with some states providing very few records. The amendment requires states to completely participate in NICS in order to be eligible for certain types of federal grant funding.
Full state participation in NICS would help prevent the kind of tragedy that took place at Virginia Tech in 2007. Prior to that mass shooting, in which 32 people were murdered and 23 were injured, shooter Seung Hui Cho had been found mentally ill by a Virginia judge. However, Virginia did not submit that court record to NICS. The absence of this critical information in NICS enabled Cho to pass a background check and purchase the handguns he used for the shooting. This is one example of how the threat of gun violence can be reduced through improvement of the NICS system, a salient objective of the Manchin-Toomey amendment.
The second part, expansion of background checks to other venues such as gun shows, is not a new idea. In the aftermath of the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999, the NRA supported expanding background checks at gun shows during consideration by the House of Representatives of the Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act (H.R. 2122). I agreed with the NRA then, and so did many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of this legislation.
Current law already requires a background check through NICS for all sales conducted through a federally licensed gun dealer. The Manchin-Toomey amendment would have required individuals seeking to purchase firearms from a non-dealer at a gun show to undergo the same background check as required for purchases from licensed dealers. The amendment would not have mandated "universal" background checks. Personal, non-commercial transfers would not have required background checks.
The third part of our amendment would have been achieved through a number of measures. These measures included allowing active duty military service members to buy a gun in their home state and providing a new legal process for restoring the Second Amendment rights of veterans who, under current law, can be unfairly prevented from acquiring a firearm. Another benefit included protecting law abiding gun owners from arrest or detention by fixing interstate travel laws.
Contrary to some reports, the amendment would not have created or enabled a national gun registry. I have always strongly opposed a gun registry, so our amendment prohibited the creation of a registry and would have established a new felony offense, punishable by a 15-year prison sentence, for any official who attempted to create a federal registry.
Senator Manchin and I posted the text of our amendment on our websites on April 11, 2013, thereby providing six days for our colleagues and the public to review the 49-page measure before a vote. On April 17, 2013, despite bipartisan support and a 54-46 vote in favor, the amendment was defeated due to a 60-vote threshold that was agreed to by unanimous consent.
I acknowledge that some will disagree with the Manchin-Toomey amendment. I am under no illusion that the amendment would necessarily prevent a determined criminal or dangerously mentally ill person from acquiring a firearm. No system can be 100 percent effective in denying firearms to those that should not have them, but that does not mean we should not try to improve the current system. In my view, keeping guns out of the hands of these people is not gun control, but common sense.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
Pat Toomey U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania
“Full state participation in NICS would help prevent the kind of tragedy that took place at Virginia Tech in 2007. Prior to that mass shooting, in which 32 people were murdered and 23 were injured, shooter Seung Hui Cho had been found mentally ill by a Virginia judge. However, Virginia did not submit that court record to NICS. The absence of this critical information in NICS enabled Cho to pass a background check and purchase the handguns he used for the shooting. This is one example of how the threat of gun violence can be reduced through improvement of the NICS system, a salient objective of the Manchin-Toomey amendment. “
This is some dangerous bullsheet, the next step is to declare your political enemies mentally ill and take away all their rihgts.
Why do they always say this? It's total BS. Or do they mean that in the past they've supported the 2ndA, but that was then and this is now?
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Typical non-response response from our elected officials. They should at least identify the aide or computer that actually composed the BS.
Thank you for posting this.
YES IT IS CANNED! I just received the exact same reply to my email to Senator Toomey explaining that this legislation was not something a Conservative should have have his name on...... I was disappointed in the fact e co-sponsored the law and now disgusted that he would reply to voters with canned response.
I wish some state would collect all federal taxes from that state and then withhold it from the Feds for not complying with the Constitution.
Same disingenuous copy-and-paste drivel I got back from Toomey’s office.
Yeah, same as the one I got.
The second amendment was not based on personal protection or hunting, that is not the issue and this dirt bag is trying to layer his opinion over the fact the amendment was to keep a firm check on the government.
"As you know, I have been working to reduce the number and strength of anti-firearms legislation, aiming toward our ultimate goal of making the Second Amendment the only gun law in the nation. This is a difficult, years-long battle that only began in earnest in 1994 in response to the first 'Assault Weapons Ban' (now some years expired without renewal).
"We managed to defeat this latest effort at increased infringement on your rights. Please accept this as a battle won, rather than evidence of a war lost. We are not finished, either in the sense of having accomplished our goal, nor in the sense of being defeated.
"Please continue to support, financially and with your vote, pro-liberty candidates wherever possible. Please note that often there is no perfectly pro-liberty candidate in the general election; when that happens, please vote against those who either openly or rhetorically threaten your Constitutional Rights. We can deal with the other kind when they get here, just as we did last week.
"Sincerely, etc." Travis-- off to the fun store for real this time :)
Get rid of toomey asap... he is just another snarlin’ arlen.
The longer he serves... the mnore he will list to port.
Toomey probably moves left because PA is so leftist; he thinks that will allow him to survive. It may not though.
[[This is some dangerous bullsheet, the next step is to declare your political enemies mentally ill and take away all their rihgts.]]
they are ALREADY doign htat in NY folks- It’s just a matter of tiem before it sweeps across thsi nation
ANYONE having EVER taken any kind of anti-depressent, anti-anxiety, andti psychjotic- will have their guns confiscated WITHOUT any actual professional diagnosis of dangerous psychosis- it’;s already happenign in NY- all a doctor or nurse has to do is inform o na patient, and the police show up at door to confiscate guns- AND the states WILL go through medical records looking for any use of htsoe medications and WILL show up at your door to confiscate your guns- it’s alreadfy happenign in NY
Did I mention it’s already happenign in NY?
[[Why do they always say this? It’s total BS]]
The same reason Dear leader always says he’s a Christian RIGHT BEFORE he attacks Christians
[[YES IT IS CANNED! I just received the exact same reply to my email to Senator Toomey explaining that this legislation was not something a Conservative should have have his name on......]]
Write him back and call him on his BS and mention that you don’t really apprerciate the fact that he is issuing canned responses to we the peopel- thsoe hwo HIRED HIM to WORK FOR US!
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