PITTSBURG (KDKA) — After months of stalemate in Congress, the Washington rumor mill is swirling that a possible deal is in the works between two pro-gun senators — Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
While the details of this proposed compromise have not been released, it would seem to involve exceptions to universal background checks and, perhaps, the paperwork required.
In other words, while most gun sales would be covered by background checks, private transactions — neighbor-to-neighbor — would not be covered.
Still, background checks on everyone remain popular.
“If we put weapons in the wrong hands, it can be very destructive, and we’ve seen how destructive it can be,” says John Younger of Highland Park.
But if the opposition from gun rights groups keeps congress from passing universal background checks, a Toomey-Manchin compromise could break the logjam.
But some don’t like the exceptions.
“No, there should be background checks on everybody, and there should be like medical, mental illness — those people shouldn’t have guns at all,” notes Jennifer Pratt of Millvale.
“Everyone has to have a license to get behind the wheel. So if you’re going to investigate the background of one, why not everyone?” asks Darrell Perry of the Northside.
While gun rights groups worry that universal background checks could lead to gun registration, others say a Toomey-Manchin plan allowing gun sales between private citizens without background checks requires gun owners to guess about the purchasers.
“You could know that neighbor for only a couple of years. You don’t know what they’ve done in the past, or if they have any kind of mental illness or anything,” notes Victoria Scheibel of Shaler.
“You don’t know who somebody’s neighbor is. They could be just as crazy as the guy on the other side of you,” adds Mike Sadowsky of Downtown.