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On Guns, Toomey Says He Continues To Support Expanded Background Checks

J. Scott Applewhite
Toomey called for "improving our federal background system" for gun sales on Facebook Thurs., Feb. 15, 2018.

In the aftermath of this week’s high school shooting in Florida, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is calling for improved federal background checks for firearms sales.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Toomey said he and his staff will “continue to reach out to senators on both sides of the aisle to see where progress can be made” on the issue.

This is an area where Toomey diverges from many in his party.

Following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, he co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to extend background checks to online sales and gun shows. Currently, checks are only required for transactions with licensed dealers.


Toomey was dinged by the NRA during his reelection campaign in 2016 for supporting the legislation, dropping from an A to a C grade in the group’s Political Victory Fund ratings, though he’s also faced recent criticism for still being among Pennsylvania’s top recipients for NRA campaign contributions.


Only four Republicans supported the background check bill, which failed to pass in the Senate. Congress remains at a stalemate on the issue.

The shooting in Florida left 17 dead and came three weeks after a shooter at a Kentucky high school killed two and injured 18.