Major Gun Rights Group Retracts Support For Bipartisan Manchin-Toomey Bill

The Manchin-Toomey gun control legislation that is pending in the US Senate no longer has the backing of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

In an email to its member on Sunday, the organization announced it supported the bill crafted by Senators Joe Manchin (D – W.Va) and Pat Toomey (R – Pa.). At the time, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said in part that Manchin-Toomey contained substantial advances for the guns rights cause.

That has all changed because the final version of the gun control measure apparently omits some key provisions the CCRKBA endorsed.

The CCRKBA has fewer members than the National Rifle Association — over 600,000 compared to the five million boasted by the NRA. But the group’s endorsement of the Manchin-Toomey compromise at the time presented an unusual divide in the gun rights lobby and appeared to be providing momentum for the bill.

Today, Gottlieb announced the pullback on support for the bill while praised the good-faith negotiations carried out by the two sponsoring senators: “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. 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.”

Added Gottlieb: “But it appears the Democratic leadership in the Senate was opposed to letting this important consideration come up for a vote. 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.”

Gottlieb noted that the Democrats will have only themselves to blame if the legislation is defeated on the floor of the Senate today. Several news outlets have reported that the gun control bill lacks the votes to pass.

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