Gun bill defeat: how did your Senator vote? - WRBL

Gun bill defeat: how did your Senator vote?

Posted: Updated: April 17, 2013 10:10 PM
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JOHNSON CITY, TN -

A bill that would have expanded gun control died in the U.S. Senate Wednesday because of a Republican led filibuster.

The bill would have led to federal background checks for all gun purchases, even those at gun shows and online.

Virginia U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner - both Democrats -  supported the measure.

Tennessee U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker - both Republicans - did not support it.

President Obama vowed that the effort to expand background checks "isn't over."

Below are full news releases and statements issued by Senators Alexander, Corker, Kaine, and Warner after the vote on Wednesday.


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WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., today voted in favor of the Grassley amendment and against the Toomey-Manchin amendment.

"Like most Americans, I want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and dangerous mentally ill people.  Today I supported the Grassley amendment to enhance mental health reporting requirements, which I believe is the central issue, and to improve the background check system in a way that is not an impediment to Second Amendment rights.  Unfortunately, the Toomey-Manchin amendment overly burdens a law abiding citizen's ability to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights and creates uncertainty about what is and is not a criminal offense when it comes to gun ownership."  


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WASHINGTON, April 17 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on his vote against amendments to the gun legislation that would have enacted a so-called "assault weapons" ban and expanded the gun background check system and his support of a proposal offered by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

"I'm examining every amendment to gun legislation to see whether it infringes upon or strengthens Second Amendment constitutional rights," Alexander said. "I voted against the so-called 'assault weapons' ban because it clearly infringes on Second Amendment rights, and I voted against the Toomey-Manchin amendment because it could easily evolve into a national gun registry." The Toomey-Manchin amendment was rejected by the Senate, having failed to achieve the 60 votes required for passage.

Alexander continued, "I'm supporting the Grassley-Cruz amendment because it strengthens Second Amendment rights while improving our existing system to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those a court has decided are dangerously mentally ill."

The Senate Majority first brought up an amendment to expand the gun background check system by Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and later the "assault weapons" ban by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). On April 11, Alexander announced his opposition to the Toomey-Manchin amendment, which he has said would "impose a background check system that is overly broad, vague and ultimately ineffective."

The Grassley-Cruz amendment would strengthen federal prosecution under existing gun laws, and clarify which records must be included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It targets criminals, such as gang members who are responsible for putting guns in the hands of violent offenders. In cases of mental illness, a court proceeding would have to determine that an individual is a danger to themselves or others before his or her name is submitted."

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement regarding the votes today on gun violence measures:

"On the sixth anniversary of the horrible shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday, I took to the Senate floor to remember the 32 Hokies who lost their lives.  The tragedy happened after a dangerous young man illegally purchased weapons due to flaws in the background records check system.  

"I told the story of Liviu Librescu, a professor who lost his life barricading a classroom door with his body so that his students could escape to safety.  I hoped that Professor Librescu's example of selfless courage would embolden my colleagues to vote to reduce gun violence.

"Instead, a minority of the Senate chose to use the filibuster to block a 54-member majority from passing a reasonable expansion of our nation's criminal background record check system.   I'm very disappointed that we missed a chance to make our country safer."

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WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner issued the following statement after the Senate rejected a series of gun measures:

"It's very disappointing that we could not reach 60 votes in the Senate for the reasonable, bipartisan legislation to strengthen background checks. The compromise put forward by Sens. Manchin and Toomey would have closed the gun show loophole and prohibited the commercial sale of guns to those who are seriously mentally ill or have a criminal record while also upholding Second Amendment rights.  

I also am disappointed that, one day after the sixth anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the vote against the Manchin-Toomey compromise jeopardizes passage of the underlying gun safety bill , which includes our bipartisan CAMPUS Safety Act.  I will continue to fight for passage of this commonsense approach to better coordinate research and resources to help provide a  safer campus environment for students."

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