Local reaction mixed on background check compromise

CINCINNATI - As the gun-control debate moves closer to the floor of the United States Senate, millions of Americans are watching what type of legislation, if any, is crafted.

Wednesday, senators Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced a bi-partisan plan that would strengthen background checks for gun sales.

Toomey and Manchin's bill makes clear that doctors could send mental health records into the national background check system without violating a patient's privacy.

It would require private sellers at a gun show to have a licensed dealer run background checks on potential customers.

The bill would increase regulation on Internet gun sales requiring buyers to get background checks even if purchasing from a private party.

To read the full proposal, go to http://goo.gl/kM3MC.

"I would predict that we're going to see very little traction at all to this. There will be a lot of chest beating but it is not going to go anywhere," said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "The next big event will come along and they will move on."

Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence believes the Manchin/Toomey compromise is a step in the right direction.

"We're glad to see them being willing to have conversation and it doesn't matter which side of the aisle you come from that it's time to sit down and do something about the problem," said Hoover.

Eaton doesn't think much of the compromise plan and supports senators who will attempt a filibuster to prevent it from reaching the floor.

"They're fighting for sensibility. These types of measures have no effect on crime. The studies and statistics have shown that criminals simply do not buy firearms at gun shows. They do not buy them currently through the background check system," said Eaton.

Hoover disagrees.

"What background checks are doing for everyone is they're asking gun owners to be more responsible. Don't sell it to somebody unless you are positive they're not a felon, a domestic abuser or been adjudicated mentally ill," said Hoover.

Not all gun owners are as skeptical as Eaton is about the value of background checks at gun shows.

Steven Barrett, a Mt. Healthy resident who shops at Kyle's Gunshop in Finneytown, supports part of the Manchin/Toomey plan.

"As far as I'm concerned, people need to be checked out a little bit closer as far as gun shows. Anybody walking around a gun show that has a gun for sale can sell it to anybody, which basically is not a good thing," said Barrett.

Barrett is a part-time concealed carry instructor.

"You want to know who you're selling that gun to and you want to know who you're buying that gun from," said Barrett.


Print this article Back to Top