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April 17, 2013

Ayotte Announces "No" Vote on Toomey-Manchin, Will Support Her Own Competing Bill;
Democrat Heidi Heitkamp Announces "No" Too

So Toomey-Manchin is dead.

Strangely, Harry Reid has now announced his support of an "assault weapons" ban, which, unless something has changed greatly in the past ten minutes, is a non-starter. Perhaps this is posturing for the base? Thwarted on a compromise that the base probably wouldn't have liked all that much anyway, the Blue State liberals announce they're going for the Brass Ring?

Here's part of Ayotte's statement:

“There are responsible steps that can be taken to stop criminals and others who are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law from obtaining them. With those principles as a guide, I am cosponsoring the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, which includes needed reforms to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, addresses mental health gaps in the criminal justice system, and criminalizes gun trafficking and straw purchases.

“To further address the need to improve the nation’s mental health system, I also am co-sponsoring the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act. This bipartisan measure includes provisions of legislation I helped introduce that seek to improve mental health first aid training and increase the effectiveness of mental health care across the nation.

“I believe that restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining and misusing firearms to commit violence. While steps must be taken to improve the existing background check system, I will not support the Manchin-Toomey legislation, which I believe would place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government into private gun sales.”

Ayotte's competing replacement bill was co-sponsored by... Ted Cruz?

The bill would also “limit the Justice Department’s ability to conduct gun trafficking stings like ‘Operation Fast and Furious.’” Among the sponsors, incidentally: Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, and … Kelly Ayotte, which may mean that she’s a no on Toomey/Manchin and already has a new card to play. If you’re annoyed that the GOP would offer its own bill on this subject, don’t be: Ninety percent of the motivation, I assume, is to dare Democrats to vote it down in retaliation for Republicans voting down Reid’s bills. Once it fails, the GOP can cite it as evidence that each party rejected the other’s attempts to keep guns away from crazies.





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