U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D) defends his recent vote against a measure expanding background check in this KUAR report from Karen Tricot Steward.

Pryor, who voted against the Mancin-Toomey proposal but supported the Grassley amendment, said he liked provisions in the Grassley bill, which he considered stronger.

“I read both of them. I spent a lot of time with both of the, and I chose the Grassley amendment over the Mancin-Toomey amendment. One of the reasons I did that was because Mancin-Toomey, with all due respect, now I totally understand how emotional people are about this, but I don’t want to lose sight of the facts. With all due respect, the Mancin-Toomey bill would not have prevented the mass shootings in Jonesboro or Tuscon or Aurora or in Newtown,” said Pryor. “It did nothing to enforce the current background check system we have on the books. There’s no sense in expanding the rules when they’re not being enforced.”

Provisions in the Grassley measure that Pryor voted for included:

  • Strengthening funding for mental health programs
  • Required certain federal agencies to report all records on mental health
  • Tougher penalties for “straw” purchases, a term for those who buy guns for those who can’t
  • COPS program funding for school resource officers
  • More accountability for the Department of Justice

“I’m looking for something that has teeth in it,” Pryor said.

Neither measure received 60 votes to clear the U.S. Senate’s filibuster hurdle. The Mancin-Toomey bill received 54 votes and the Grassley amendment earned 52.

Pryor has been targeted in print advertising by a group called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which opposed his vote against the Mancin-Toomey amendment.

You can learn more and hear more from Pryor at this link.

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