By Laura Matthews | April 14 2013 11:41 PM
A gun-rights group that had a hand in developing the recent bipartisan measure on background checks in the U.S. Senate said gun grabbers walked into its trap and that it would take pleasure in seeing President Barack Obama sign the bill.
In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., U.S. President Barack Obama asked that background checks be a part of a Senate measure to stop gun violence.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms on Sunday endorsed the agreement brokered last week by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
In an email to the IBTimes on Sunday, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the committee, explained that he and the group’s attorney lobbyist not only influenced the bipartisan legislation but also wrote parts of it.
“The gun grabbers have stepped into our trap,” Gottlieb said in the statement. “It will be fun to see Obama forced to sign it!”
With about 600,000 members, Gottlieb’s organization has close ties to the Second Amendment Foundation. Its public endorsement of the Manchin-Toomey measure highlights a split in the usually united gun-rights lobby.
The largest gun-rights group, the National Rifle Association, or NRA, doesn’t support the background-checks agreement, which will expand those searches to gun shows and online sales.
“Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools,” the NRA said in an April 10 statement. “While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and [New York] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg’s ‘universal’ background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows.”
The NRA added: “The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson. We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone.”
Instead, the NRA said Obama should be as committed to dealing with gang violence in his hometown of Chicago as “he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers.”
In the proposed Manchin-Toomey legislation, Gottlieb said in his statement, “We protect and expand a good number of pro-gun rights measures as well,”
Gottlieb added there is an agreement that the two senators will support another amendment to possibly restore federal firearms rights that he said is currently blocked in legislation proposed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.
“If you read the bill, you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains like interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection if you sell a gun plus more,” Gottlieb said in his statement. “It also exempts the sale or transfer of firearms between family members and friends as well as sales outside a commercial venue from a background check. If you have any kind of current state permit to own, use or carry, no check is done, just the Form 4473 to stay with a dealer.”