Senate defeats expanded gun background check amendment

Good news for people who have a criminal record, your ability to purchase a handgun at a gun show or over the Internet, will not be going away anytime soon. The U.S. Senate defeated an amendment yesterday that would have expanded background checks for handgun purchases at gun shows and between private parties.

The amendment was defeated with a vote of 54 to 46, the minority voting against the bill. Because the U.S. Senate is the U.S. Senate, a majority of 60 votes is needed to move a bill for a full vote where only a simple majority is needed for passage. If this seems like a really stupid way to conduct business, it’s because it is.

Polls have shown 90% of the population supports expanded background checks. The problem is that the National Rifle Association doesn’t support expanded background checks. Not anymore. They used to, but that was when it wasn’t really technically feasible, but now that technology is in place to would allow instant background checks anywhere, even at gun shows, the NRA is against it. Politicians in Washington D.C. are more beholden to the NRA than they are to the will of the people. Mostly that can be attributed to simple economics: The NRA pays politicians a lot of money, while the American people don’t.

Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

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