Gun rights group Pennsylvanians for Self Protection canceled a protest at the last minute after Senator Pat Toomey promised not to reintroduce a high-profile gun control bill.
Pennsylvanians for Self Protection were set and ready for action, but according to the group, a staffer for Toomey said the senator wouldn’t be reintroducing the Toomey-Manchin proposal. However, Toomey’s aide denied any such correspondence took place.
Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) lost to Toomey in 2010, but is running again, and said that when it comes to gun legislation, the senator is all talk.
“Do you want a warrior who is beside you all the time, or a guy who deserts after one lost battle?” asked Sestak. “Despite repeatedly claiming he is ‘looking for opportunities’ to reintroduce the bill, either Sen. Toomey lacks the courage to simply reintroduce it or his conviction remains the same as when he said, ‘My idea of gun control is a steady aim.’”
But Toomey spokesperson E.R. Anderson said that’s not quite the case, arguing that the senator is a big 2A proponent.
“Sen. Toomey has always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” said Anderson. “He has long believed, and continues to believe, that background checks for commercial sales of firearms are consistent with the Second Amendment and a reasonable way to help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”
Tom Campione, the legislative affairs director for Pennsylvanians for Self Protection said Toomey has another thing coming if he thinks he can pick up votes by aligning with the Dems.
“Look, the Second Amendment community is very concerned with this,” said Campione. “If the senator thinks he’s going to pick up votes by moving to the left a bit, he’s going to lose those [conservative] votes. Don’t believe us? Talk to Tom Corbett.”
The situation leaves Toomey in a bit of a conundrum. If he abandons the Toomey-Manchin proposal, he’ll win favor with many Conservatives, but if he doesn’t he’ll lose it with the Dems.
(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers)