Senator Manchin Re-Introduces Commonsense Background Checks Amendment
Legislation protects Americans’ Second Amendment rights
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) today re-introduced the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act to prevent convicted criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing guns, while not infringing on law-abiding gun owners’ Second Amendment rights. This commonsense legislation expands existing background checks to gun shows and online sales – a loophole easily exploited by criminals and the mentally insane who have inflicted unimaginable violence on our society.
“While the recent mass shootings throughout our country have elevated the gun safety conversation, we cannot sacrifice our constitutional rights out of fear. It is our obligation to keep our communities safe and to protect our Second Amendment rights – and I truly believe we can and must do both,” Senator Manchin said.
“We need to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and the mentally ill while also bringing together a group of experts to look at all aspects of our culture of mass violence. Violence destroys the dignity, hopes and lives of millions of Americans. We have a unique opportunity to stop this epidemic here and now – but only if we can put politics aside and take a look at all aspects of our culture of mass violence. Our words will offer little comfort to the victims of mass violence everywhere. It is only through our actions that these families and communities across America may find solace. I am disappointed this vote failed, but I will continue to fight for commonsense reforms that protect law-abiding gun owners and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those adjudicated mentally ill.”
The bill explicitly bans the federal government from creating a registry and creates a new penalty for misusing records to create a registry – a felony punishable by 15 years in prison. The bill also protects veterans’ rights by offering an appeals process so that veterans do not lose their right to bear arms. Finally, the bill creates a commission of non-elected experts in their fields who will study the causes of mass violence in the United States, looking at all aspects of the problem, including mental health, guns, school safety and portrayals of violence in the media. This broad approach is absolutely necessary to truly address our culture of mass violence.
The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act will not:
• The bill will not, in any way, shape, or form infringe upon anyone’s Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
• The bill will not take away anyone’s guns.
• The bill will not ban any type of firearm.
• The bill will not ban or restrict the use of any kind of bullet or any size clip or magazine.
• The bill will not create a national registry; in fact, it explicitly prohibits it.
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