Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:47PM - 207 Views
Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says the amendment introduced by Senators Toomey, Manchin, Schumer and Kirk expanding background checks on gun purchases would not prevent what happened at Newtown, but would infringe on the rights of Ohio gun owners.

“Having carefully reviewed the Manchin-Toomey legislation, unfortunately, I do not believe it would be effective in preventing the kind of heartbreaking loss of life seen in Newtown or in other recent tragic incidents. It does, however, contain several provisions that would make it more difficult for law-abiding Ohioans to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. I do believe there are actions Congress can and should take to reduce gun violence without infringing on Second Amendment rights, and I look forward to supporting such amendments,” Portman said. “This includes legislation that not only helps ensure those suffering from mental illness have access to the treatment they need, but also enforces and improves rules already on the books that limit their ability to threaten themselves and their communities. For instance, I will be supporting amendments to improve background checks by strengthening state reporting of individuals who courts have found to be mentally ill.”

The amendment failed when put up for a vote on Wednesday. The amendment needed 60 votes to pass, but fell short with only 54 votes. Before the vote, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly were on Capitol Hill attempting to garner support. Although polls show support for background checks, there was growing concern that the Toomey-Manchin bill would lead to a national gun registry. A late compromise to the bill by Toomey and Manchin exempting people who live in rural areas did little convince those Senators who had previously been undecided.

“As we continue the debate, I also look forward to supporting legislation to improve school safety and to crack down on gun trafficking and on those who knowingly bypass current law to get weapons in the hands of violent criminals,” Portman said. “I also strongly support efforts to address the underlying problem of violence and the glorification of gun violence in popular culture.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.

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