Dead On Arrival: Universal Background Checks Senate Bill Loses Potential Supporters

Senate senior aides acknowledged that the Senate version of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 was “dead on arrival,” the Washington Free Beacon reported. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D - NY) had promised to sponsor a similar bill after the measure was approved in the lower chamber.


"H.R. 8 will be on the floor of the Senate and we will see where everybody stands," Schumer said. "No more thoughts and prayers. A vote is what we need. A vote."


However, support for the bill in Senate encountered a major setback when two Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana indicated that they would not support the proposal. Similarly, the Republican gun-sense Senator Susan Collins from Maine also confirmed her opposition to the bill.


"It's commercial -- not universal, there's a difference," Manchin said in a news conference. "Commercial means only closing the loopholes at gun shows and on the internet. Law-abiding gun owners aren't gonna sell their guns to strangers. That's how we're taught. We're not gonna loan our guns to strangers or even to family members. ... We're not doing that. So, don't take all my rights away."


Similarly, senior Senate staffers disclosed that despite Democrats’ strong voices and promises of prompt gun control, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 had no chances of passing.


"H.R. 8 is just dead on arrival," a senior Republican staffer said. "Period. It doesn't have the votes. Not only does it not have the votes quietly it doesn't have the votes loudly because Manchin and Toomey are out there opposing it."

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With 60 votes needed to pass the measure, Democrats' only option is to eradicate the filibuster so they can ram every imaginable gun control without involving the Republicans.

"I don't think we should accept that there aren't 60 votes in the Senate for universal background checks," Sen. Chris Murphy (D – Conn.) said.


He added that the anti-gun lobby had grown stronger while the pro-gun lobby “is a shell of itself.”


Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) sponsored the 2013 bipartisan background checks bill that failed to gather the required 60 votes to break the filibuster. The measure exempted private and online sales from background checks. Fifty-four senators voted to advance the bill, while 46 opposed it.


However, the current proposal pushed by Democrats requires background checks for sales, including those between family members and friends except in limited circumstances.


In 2016, Sen. Murphy introduced another background checks bill that failed to reach the two-thirds threshold. Manchin, Tester, and Heitkamp also opposed the proposal that gathered 56-44 votes.


This followed the shootings at the Orlando, Fla., nightclub that claimed 49 lives. Anti-gunners hoped to capitalize the unfortunate event to blackmail 2A proponents to pass the bill.

With the proposal being rejected by tie-breakers and imposing more invasive requirements, it has no chance of passing the highly partisan Senate.

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