BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has withdrawn its support for the Manchin-Toomey alternative background check measure because a key amendment for restoration of firearms rights is not being considered.
â€œOur 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,â€ said a frustrated CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œThis 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.
â€œBut it appears the Democratic leadership in the Senate was opposed to letting this important consideration come up for a vote,â€ he said. â€œWe 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.â€
Rights restoration has been withheld from American citizens for more than two decades, ever since Sen. Charles Schumer â€“ when he was still in the House of Representatives â€“ successfully strong-armed a provision to withdraw funding for rights restoration investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
â€œSenators Manchin and Toomey are not to blame for this,â€ Gottlieb stated, â€œas 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.
â€œIf the Manchin-Toomey alternative now goes down to defeat,â€ he continued, â€œDemocrats 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.
â€œWe cannot, in clear conscience, continue to support a measure that will not include this critical relief component,â€ Gottlieb concluded. â€œIf Democrats like Schumer thought we could be flim flammed on this, they were wrong.â€