Earlier this week the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms came out in support of the Manchin/Toomey background check proposal. At the time, the group’s chairman Alan Gottlieb said that although they had to compromise on background checks, there were a number of positives included in the bill that advanced gun rights. Now, however, the group is withdrawing support for the Manchin/Toomey bill because “a key amendment for restoration of firearms rights is not being considered.” The statement in full is below:
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has withdrawn its support for the Manchin-Toomey alternative background check measure because a key amendment for restoration of firearms rights is not being considered.
“Our support for this measure was contingent on several key provisions, the cornerstone of which was a rights restoration provision that is not on the schedule for consideration,” said a frustrated CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “This is not a reflection against Senators Joe Manchin or Pat Toomey, who are staunch Second Amendment advocates, and I want to thank them for all of their efforts to include as many protections for our gun rights as possible.
“But it appears the Democratic leadership in the Senate was opposed to letting this important consideration come up for a vote,” he said. “We told everyone including a number of senators, that while there are many pro-gun rights provisions added to the main body of the bill, our support was contingent on this additional amendment coming to the floor. When we say something, we mean it.”
Rights restoration has been withheld from American citizens for more than two decades, ever since Sen. Charles Schumer – when he was still in the House of Representatives – successfully strong-armed a provision to withdraw funding for rights restoration investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Senators Manchin and Toomey are not to blame for this,” Gottlieb stated, “as they have been negotiating in good faith throughout this process. But Schumer and other anti-gun Democrats are continuing their campaign of demagoguery in order to permanently disqualify as many Americans as possible from being able to exercise their fundamental rights under the Second Amendment.
“If the Manchin-Toomey alternative now goes down to defeat,” he continued, “Democrats in the Senate, led by Harry Reid, have only themselves to blame. While the Manchin-Toomey alternative has a significant number of gains for gun owners, it will not include this key provision, upon which our support was dependent.
“We cannot, in clear conscience, continue to support a measure that will not include this critical relief component,” Gottlieb concluded. “If Democrats like Schumer thought we could be flim flammed on this, they were wrong.”