Groups worry Schumer, Manchin watering down gun control bill

by Alexander Bolton, The Hill  |  published on April 6, 2013

gun control

Gun control groups say Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) are watering down a bill that expands background checks on gun purchases.

The groups say the two Democratic senators are going too far in a bid to win Republican support for gun control legislation expected to hit the Senate floor next week.

“Everyone supports background checks except for NRA leadership,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, one of the advocates alarmed by the changes Schumer and Manchin are suggesting.

“I think we should be tough on this deal,” he said. “If the vote fails and a legislator votes down background checks, there’s hell down to pay.”

At issue is whether to exempt private gun sales between friends and acquaintances from record-keeping requirements that now only cover licensed gun dealers.

Shortly before the Easter recess, Schumer and Manchin proposed that such transactions be subject to background checks but exempt from the record-keeping rules.

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