A day after his fellow Pennsylvanian Sen. Bob Casey (D) spoke specifically about the need to close loopholes in federal background checks for firearm purchases, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey indicated that he was still committed to doing the same.
“I know there are strongly held views on the Second Amendment, and I’m one of those senators who has strongly held views on the Second Amendment, but I’m also convinced there is common ground among people who have differing views on the Second Amendment,” he said in Senate floor speech Wednesday.
Lots of politicians talk about “closing loopholes” in background checks, but what exactly does that mean? In this case, Toomey is looking specifically at mandating background checks for people who buy guns online or at gun shows. It’s also mentioned religiously that 86% of the public supports legislation to do exactly this. But as Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) found out in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook, that means nothing in the United States Senate.
Toomey thinks that some very incremental action earlier this year that created improvement to the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) means that senators could be open to taking the next step.