Toomey Defends Gun Bill Despite Party Backlash

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Turning now to the national debate over strengthening gun control laws where U.S.  Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania is leading the charge to enforce tougher background checks on those purchasing firearms.

Friday, the senator spoke to WNEP about why this new legislation is necessary.

However, the senator is feeling backlash from his own party over this hot-button issue.

Lawmakers on Capital Hill are set to start discussions on a new gun control bill next week.

The republican U.S Senator from Pennsylvania pushing the proposal is explaining why there is a need for deeper background checks on those buying guns in specific situations.

“In Pennsylvania if you buy a handgun from anyone you have to do a background check but there`s no background check requirement on rifles and shotguns sold at a gun show in Pennsylvania,” said Sen. Toomey.

Senator Toomey and democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia are sponsoring the background check bill.

However members of Toomey's own party are angry with him.

Seventy-six of Pennsylvania House republicans sent Toomey letter urging him not to go forward with the proposal.

“I know that there`s some people, well-intentioned and good people and many who have been supporters of mine that have reservations about this and I understand that,” said Toomey.

Charlie Spano is on the executive committee of the Lackawanna County GOP and disagrees with Toomey.

“To endanger legal, law abiding gun owners by tripping them up on some technicality down the road is not going to be helpful at all. You`re going to be criminalizing people who ought not to be,” said Spano.

WNEP viewers are expressing their anger at Toomey.

One caller left this message on the station`s Talkback line: “Well Toomey, you`ve got my last vote, I`m a registered republican.”

And viewers left these messages on WNEP`s Faceback page:

Jim Fessler said “Pat Toomey needs to go!”

Ken Hogan said “There goes my vote for Toomey.”

Randy Eddinger said “Another Arlen Specter.”

“I supported Senator Toomey when he ran both times and this action, this legislation will cause me to think very carefully,” said Spano.

Charlie Spano said there will be a motorcycle rally in support of the second amendment Saturday at 1:30 p.m. outside Gun Toters in Eynon. The motorcade will then move to Gander Mountain near the Viewmont Mall where State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe will be the main speaker.