Gun rights supporters pleased with Senate's rejection


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Four months and four days after the Newtown shootings, the U.S. Senate has indefinitely shelved major gun legislation.

The move follows Wednesday’s defeat of a compromise to expand background checks, leaving gun control advocates outraged.

Meanwhile, gun rights supporters said theSsenate made the right move, including the general manager of the Greater Midwest Mercantile in Eau Claire.

David Madis said most of his customers are also satisfied with the decision because the effort would have criminalized some private transfers.

“I'd say probably 95 percent of our customers are happy that it didn't pass because it’s making people, honest people, spend money they shouldn't have to spend; where the criminals aren't going to do background checks, they're not going to come into the shops. They're not going to buy from licensed dealers anyway,” said Madis who has been in the gun business most of his life.

The bi-partisan plan would have expanded background checks on guns sales, closing the so-called "gun show loophole” referring to gun shows.

But, it failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward in the senate.

“I have kind of mixed feelings about that,” said gun owner Robert Heath. “I can see how inconvenient it would be to have a two day wait for a gun show that's in town for a day and a half.”

At the same time, Heath said traveling gun shows should also have some way of knowing who they’re selling guns to.

On Thusday, Capt. Mark Kelly, the husband of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, said senators who voted against the measure are more concerned about their political future than the public.

“If Congress will not act and members of the Senate will not do their jobs and work to keep our communities safer, then we are going to have to change who is in Congress,” said Kelly.

While gun control advocates access their next steps, gun rights supporters said lawmakers who want tougher gun laws need to do a little more research.

“I just wish the people trying to make these laws would take a look at the 4473 form made by the federal government, the ATF, for purchasing long guns and then take a look at the handgun transfer form that has a lot of these same questions and read them and see that a lot of these questions they're worried about is already on there,” said Madis.

Gov. Scott Walker said he won't push for more extensive background checks for gun owners in Wisconsin. He said he's focused on improving mental health service in the state instead.

Speaking in the Rose Garden with some of the parents of victims of the Connecticut school massacre, Obama said the vote happened on a "pretty shameful day" in Washington and said opponents "caved to the pressure" of special interests. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia bluntly accused the National Rifle Association of making false claims about the expansion of background checks that he and Republican Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, were backing.

A ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines also fell in a series of showdown votes. A bid to loosen restrictions on concealed weapons carried across state lines was rejected, as well. That last vote was a rare defeat for the National Rifle Association.

Opponents of the proposals said they encroached on Second Amendment rights.


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