BREAKING: Senate Kills Major Gun Legislation

Guy Benson

4/17/2013 4:28:00 PM - Guy Benson

Much of the drama has already dissipated; most of these amendments will fail.  The Toomey/Manchin bipartisan compromise appears to be dead in the water, with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) pounding home the final legislative nails earlier today. USA Today has a useful primer on what to expect this afternoon and evening, including the items liberals will be watching most carefully:

- The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and three co-sponsors): The compromise background check provision expands background checks to gun shows and Internet sales, but exempts family-to-family and other in-home sales. It also authorizes $400 million to upgrade the national background check database and reduces the turnaround time for background checks from three days to two days; in four years, it would be reduced to one day

- The Assault Weapons Ban (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and 23 co-sponsors): The amendment bans the sale, transfer and importation of assault rifles, including 157 specifically mentioned in the law -- a broader definition than existed from 1994 to 2004. Current lawful owners of assault weapons would be grandfathered.

- The Large-Capacity Magazine Feeding Devices Amendment (Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and 21 co-sponsors): The measure would ban magazines and other devices holding more than 10 rounds, but exempts .22 caliber rifles. Police officers -- both on- and off-duty -- would also be exempted. It also authorizes federally funded gun buyback programs to purchase high-capacity magazines.  

r> None of those three are expected to pass (see update), though some of the other provisions might.  The assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limit will go down hard, a reality that has forced a beleagured Harry Reid to toss a last-minute gesture of lefty solidarity by backing Feinstein's doomed dream.   Stay tuned for updates...

UPDATE - Toomey/Manchin fails 54-46, with a handful of aisle-crossers in both directions.  The bill's supporters were six votes short of 60.  Four Republicans joined most Democrats in voting aye: Toomey, McCain, Kirk and Collins.  Dems going the other way: Baucus, Begich, Heitkamp, Pryor, and Reid (for procedural reasons).

UPDATE II - The primary Republican replacement amendment also goes down, 52-48.  Seven Nine Democrats joined nearly every Republican in voting yes, but it wasn't enough.  Looks like nothing (or close to it) is getting passed tonight.

UPDATE III - I'm sure this statement won't be demagogic at all:

White House sets 5:30 pm Rose Garden statement on guns by President Obama

— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 17, 2013

UPDATE IV - Here's the roster of Democrats who joined the GOP on their unsuccessful alternate amendment:

D's voting for GOP gun bill: Baucus, Begich, Donnelly, Hagan, Heitkamp, Landrieu, McCaskill, Pryor & Tester.

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 17, 2013

UPDATE V - Leahy/Collins (re: gun-trafficking) is defeated, 58-42.

UPDATE VI - The difficulty of gun legislation, in one tweet:

RT @hotlinejosh: RT @mikememoli: Asked to explain his vote, Sen. Baucus said one word: "Montana."

— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) April 17, 2013


UPDATE VII - Down goes Cornyn's amendment on concealed-carry reciprocity, 57-43.  That's an awful lot of votes for the idea, even though it failed.  Chuck Todd points out that more Senators voted to vastly expand gun rights than for the tepid Toomey/Manchin gun control law.  Wow.

UPDATE VIII - Let the lefty machinations begin:

---> MT @fschouten it begins: @boldprogressive announces full-page ads against Pryor, Begich, Baucus& Heitkamp over bkgrnd check votes

— Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring) April 17, 2013

UPDATE VII - Surprise:

Newtown families, Gabby Giffords at the podium at the White House.

— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) April 17, 2013

UPDATE XIII - The federal Assault Weapons Ban stays buried. It wasn't close: 40 yes votes, 60 no.

UPDATE IX - Great point.  Keep this in mind when you watch the video of President Obama's furious -- and I mean furious -- Rose Garden statement:

Didn’t this guy have 60 Democratic votes in the Senate not long ago? Where was the gun-control push then?

— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) April 17, 2013

UPDATE X - The high capacity magazine ban falls 46-54 (majority "no").  Reid is reportedly pulling the underlying bill.  The Senate will take up two more amendments -- which might have a chance -- tomorrow.  And that's all she wrote for tonight.