Yarmuth: U.S. Senate's failure on gun bill will lead to public backlash and stronger reforms

04/21/2013 11:45 AM

The collapse of efforts in the U.S. Senate to expand background checks to more gun sales will inspire a renewed effort by Americans to push for reforms, predicted Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville.

“I think we’re a long way from finished on this. As a matter of fact, I think the disbelief of the American public over what happened in the Senate will almost guarantee that we get some kind of action,” Yarmuth said at the beginning of his interview with Pure Politics on Thursday night.

Yarmuth said he expects the ultimate legislation will be stronger than what was proposed by West Virginia Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. Their amendment would have required background checks on gun buyers at gun shows and on the Internet and specifically would have prohibited the government from keeping a registry of gun owners.

The proposal, Yarmuth said, was done in by what he called “misinformation” by the NRA, who convinced enough senators on both sides of the aisle that those senators would become politically vulnerable by voting for the amendment.

“They were willfully negligent. They knew what was in the bill. They weren’t deceived,” Yarmuth said.

Yarmuth also criticized Kentucky Republican U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell for opposing the Manchin-Toomey proposal.

McConnell has said he is concerned about infringing on the Second Amendment.

“In my view, we should focus on keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and those with mental issues that could cause them to be a threat to society,” McConnell said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “The government should not punish or harass law-abiding citizens in the exercise of their Second Amendment rights, and it’s that focus on protecting communities and preserving our constituents’ constitutional rights that will be my guide as we begin to vote on amendments to this bill.”

Yarmuth said McConnell’s words didn’t match his vote.

“You had on one hand Mitch McConnell saying in what breath: ‘What we need to do is keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable people,’ and then stopping a bill that did exactly that,” Yarmuth said. “That’s outrageous.”

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.


  • Bill Adkins wrote on April 21, 2013 12:12 PM :

    There’s going to be a backlash against the 54% who voted against the 90% and it’s going to hurt 100% of gun owners. The NRA betrayed gun owners, the National Association for Gun Rights is a front org for Rand Paul and the Gun Owners of America are simply confused. I’m a gun owner and collector – running from common sense efforts to confront a recognized problem and maintaining that the Constitution doesn’t permit a solution or efforts to prevent gun violence is ludicrous logic.

  • WDAinLEX wrote on April 21, 2013 12:14 PM :

    Yarmuth is a nut and fool.

  • bobh wrote on April 21, 2013 04:30 PM :

    Maybe we should stop importing potential terrorists first, before we dismantle the Constitution.

  • oatka wrote on April 21, 2013 04:37 PM :

    “The collapse of efforts in the U.S. Senate to expand background checks to more gun sales will inspire a renewed effort by Americans to push for reforms, predicted Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville. ‘I think we’re a long way from finished on this’ “

    Denial is not just a river in Africa.

  • Cat Balz wrote on April 22, 2013 09:48 AM :

    Had the Senate passed that bill does Yarmuth believe that the House would have done the same? Really? Will Michael Bloomberg, with his millions of “good” money, now go after Senate Democrats who voted no? Perhaps Yarmuth can prove his “backlash” prediction in his own re-election. Someone should also ask Yarmuth if his dream Senate candidate, Ashley Judd, would be able to buy a gun under the language of mental illness considerations. At least she can afford body guards.

  • Brenda Black wrote on April 22, 2013 02:13 PM :

    It is pass time to Ditch Mitch

  • waybert17 wrote on May 28, 2013 12:33 AM :

    As gun ownership has increased in the United States, gun deaths, this is just a fact, have steadily decreased over the last 30+ years. We already have over 40,000 gun laws in America, thanks to previous U.S. Congresses, and one wonders what would change (with those killed by guns) with one more gun law? I think if we could keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, which are committing all of these gun crimes at schools and in our society, we could then see a decrease in this type of crime. Laws already exist, among the 40,000, that prevents the mentally ill from getting guns….and yet, even with laws, they still do.

What do you have to say?


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.