Gun control debate continues, Coburn offers amendment

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Updated: 4/17/2013 12:11 pm Published: 4/17/2013 12:09 pm

The White House says it isn't giving up hope that expanded background checks can pass the Senate.

The bipartisan proposal faces almost certain defeat Wednesday in the Senate. It's the centerpiece of the drive to reduce gun violence and a major priority for President Barack Obama.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the path to the requisite 60 votes is very difficult, but still exists. He says there's still time for senators to do the right thing - even those who have said they'll vote against it. He says senators who vote against it disagree with the families of Newtown victims.

Carney also says any senator who hasn't read the background check amendment should be ashamed. He says everyone at the White House, including Obama, is working on the issue.

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. introduced amendment #727 to replace the Manchin-Toomey amendment:

“Under my approach gun owners are treated as part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Instead of harassing gun owners with new taxes and other burdens, my bill gives law-abiding citizens the tools they need to make sure they aren’t going to transfer a firearm to someone who will be a threat to themselves or others. For example, under my plan the process of confirming a buyer is not on the NICS list of prohibited buyers – the ‘do not buy list’ – will be as simple as using a smart phone app or printing a boarding pass from your home computer.”

“The Manchin-Toomey amendment is an unworkable plan that is almost certain to fail even if it passes. The American people don’t have to settle for failure and more finger-pointing and posturing from career politicians in Washington. My plan has the best chance of making it to the president’s desk. If the Senate is serious about solving this problem, this solution is within their reach.

“Finally, every citizen should be rightfully concerned when Washington legislates in areas where the Constitution explicitly limits government intrusion, and they should hold their representatives accountable when guaranteed rights are infringed upon. Yet, the fact that my plan won’t be popular with special interest groups on either side, who tend to represent themselves rather than gun owners or the American people, is a sign of its strength.

“Groups on the left have prioritized record-keeping over safety while groups on the right are helping arm illegal aliens and criminals with their incoherent opposition to any solution that closes gaps in the law. I’m not intimidated by these groups, and neither should any elected official who is a Constitutional officer of the people. Unlike professional lobbyists and fundraisers, I have not just talked about Second Amendment rights, I have expanded them. If special interest groups want to defend a system that arms illegal aliens, pedophiles, spousal abusers, drug dealers, felons, mentally-dangerous persons and others on the ‘do not buy list,’ they are welcome to make that case with their members.”

Key provisions and principles of the Coburn amendment:

•Instead of rerouting all commerce through federally designated person that will charge a $30-$50 fee that creates a new de facto tax on guns, the Coburn amendment would allow the consumer portal and concealed carry permits to be used for verification, protecting law abiding gun owners’ freedom to easily and safely transfer firearms.

•Respects the 10th amendment by giving states the ability to take primacy of enforcement, implement flexible solutions, and create certain exemptions.

•Reaffirms the federal policy that there will not be a federal firearms registry, and places strict penalties for violation of this policy.

•Improves reporting of mental health records by states to the NICS system.

•Provides proper due process for veterans to prevent them from being unfairly deprived of their Second Amendment Rights.

•Includes a five-year sunset provision that will force Congress to evaluate the effectiveness of the consumer portal.

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