Idaho GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch helped carry the day for opponents of tougher gun laws during a 2-hour string of votes late Wednesday.
A filibuster-proof three-fifths vote was required for passage of amendments to the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. All seven amendments considered Wednesday failed to meet that threshold, which was agreed to by Democratic and Republican leaders.
Last week, Risch and Crapo were among 14 GOP lawmakers who promised to filibuster any new gun control measures they see as infringing on 2nd Amendment rights.
Wednesday’s voting began shortly after 4 p.m. with the compromise struck by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to expand background checks to all commercial firearm sales. The measure got a majority, 54-46, six votes short of the necessary 60 votes. Crapo and Risch both voted no.
The second vote was on a Republican alternative on background checks authored by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. The measure had a 52-48 majority, with Crapo and Risch voting yes.
The third amendment was from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to punish firearms trafficking. The vote was 58-42, with Crapo and Risch voting no.
The fourth measure would have required reciprocity among states for concealed weapons permits. Authored by Sen. John Coryn, R-Texas. It failed on a 57-43 vote, with Risch and Crapo voting aye.
The fifth vote was on California Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein’s assault weapons ban, which failed 40-60, with Crapo and Risch voting no.
The sixth measure, by North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, was aimed at protecting 2nd Amendment rights for veterans and their families. The vote was 56-44, with Crapo and Risch voting yes.
The final vote was on a measure to regulate larger capacity ammunition feeding devices, authored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. That vote was 46-54, with Crapo and Risch voting no.
For details on the votes and amendments, click on the link in the first paragraph of this blog.