Senator Murray speaks at a press conference with gun violence victims’ families after Senate vote on background checks
Today, after a minority of the U.S. Senate voted down a common sense, bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun sales, Senator Murray joined gun violence victims’ families from Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, and Newtown in renewing their commitment to passing meaningful legislation.
“For me, for these families, and for 90% of the American people - the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey effort is common sense,” said Senator Murray. “Like many across the country, I’m largely at a loss for words when it comes to what happened on the Senate floor today. But I’m also not ready to give up.”
The Manchin-Toomey amendment, which failed to garner the 60 votes it needed to move forward, would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns.
Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared:
“Like everyone else I’m disappointed by the fact that today we have been prevented from taking even the most basic step to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. But I am also heartened to hear Senator Reid say that this is not the end of our efforts to protect against the gun tragedies that have touched families like those with us today.
“For me, for these families, and for 90% of the American people - the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey effort is common sense. Today, background checks for guns are only required when a gun is purchased from a federally-licensed firearms dealer. Yet we know that the vast majority of guns that are used in crimes were not sold by those dealers. And we know that the criminals who used those guns did not undergo background checks.
“Manchin-Toomey would put more gun sales through a system that for fourteen years has kept guns out of the hands of: convicted felons, domestic violence abusers, and those who are a threat to our communities. It would mean that anyone who wants to buy a gun would undergo a simple, 15 second background check before they take that gun home.
“Surely, that’s not too much to ask.
“It makes no sense that it is more difficult to buy an airplane ticket than it is to buy a gun today. It makes no sense that all it takes to buy a gun is cash or an internet connection.
“We have witnessed too many horrific acts of gun violence in this country for that to be the case. We must protect our communities and our children from gun violence. And leaders on this issue like Senator Manchin have shown we can take steps to do that while also protecting the second-amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“Like many across the country, I’m largely at a loss for words when it comes to what happened on the Senate floor today. But I’m also not ready to give up.
“Too many lives are at stake for inaction to be an option.”