“If this is done in a way that respects the rights of law-abiding citizens, I believe there is an opportunity to strengthen our background check system so that we are better able to keep guns at bay. those who have no legal right to it, “Toomey said in a statement after Biden’s announcement.
However, any attempt to craft bipartisan firearms legislation faces a high chance. Toomey is one of only two Republicans remaining in the Senate to have supported this 2013 background check bill. The filibuster remains a major obstacle, forcing a minimum of 10 Republicans to cooperate with Senate Democrats to make progress on the background check.
And Toomey is an outlier in the Republican Senate Conference, where a much larger faction of Republicans is reluctant to do anything about guns.
“Federal mandates that undermine Americans’ Second Amendment rights and bypass their elected representatives in Congress erode the constitutional freedoms that make our country exceptional,” said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho). “I will continue to oppose actions and laws that violate the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to own and bear arms.”
Getting rid of filibuster still would not solve the Democratic Senate gun whip number 50-50 problem. Four Red State Democrats have opposed the 2013 background check bill, and the more stringent background check legislation passed by the House recently lacks the support of the 50 Democratic senators. Biden’s calls to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would be even heavier.
Biden said his actions were only a “first step” in his efforts to tackle gun violence, saying he was still eager to see Congress pass legislation. His best bet probably centers on a modest background check deal, although Biden is pushing for more on Thursday.
“There’s a lot more that Congress can do,” Biden said, calling on the Senate to pass the House Democrat background check bill. Lawmakers have “offered members of Congress a lot of thoughts and prayers, but they haven’t passed a single federal law to reduce gun violence. Enough prayers. It’s time to act.”
And for now at least, Toomey and his fellow Democrats aren’t ready to give up.
“I look forward to working with [ATF nominee] David [Chipman] and alongside the Biden administration to continue these efforts with legislation. It is high time Congress acted on gun safety reform, and I will fight tooth and nail to achieve it, ”said Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).