WatchSonoma Watch

Rep. Mike Thompson pushes gun background-check legislation


In a move laden with election-year political implications, Rep. Mike Thompson announced Tuesday that he has more than 100 co-sponsors for a bill to expand background checks on gun buyers.

“We won’t take ‘no’ for an answer when it comes to passing common-sense laws that keep guns from criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill,” Thompson, D-St. Helena, said in a joint statement with Rep. Pete King, R-New York.

Rep. Mike Thompson.

Rep. Mike Thompson.

King is one of three Republicans on a list of 110 co-sponsors of the bill that is identical to the background checks measure defeated in the Senate two weeks ago.

If all 201 House Democrats backed the bill, it would still need 17 Republican votes for approval. But its failure could pay dividends for the Democrats in 2014.

The Thompson-King bill would require background checks for all firearms sales, including transactions at gun shows, over the Internet and by newspaper ads.

Huffman, who entered Congress in January representing the North Coast, rejected the ideas that the measure is dead in the Senate and stands little chance in a Republican-controlled House.

The 54 “yes” votes in the Senate, which fell short of the required 60 votes, is “a pretty good place to build on,” Huffman said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., said he intends to keep working on the bill, but his Republican co-sponsor, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, expressed no such interest.

Huffman pointed to polls that show “overwhelming support” for expanded background checks as reasons to press for a House vote on what he called “a narrow and sensible reform.”

If the vote falls short, Huffman said it would be campaign fodder in the 2014 midterm elections.

“We need to get people on the record and hold them accountable if they won’t take this common-sense step,” he said.

A Fox News Poll conducted after the Senate’s April 17 vote found 82 percent of voters favored expanding gun buyer background checks and 61 percent would be “less likely” to support a candidate who voted against them.

Given the Republican majority in the House, Thompson’s bill is unlikely to move out of committee, even though it is the “least controversial” gun control measure, said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist.

But there’s a “bigger game going on here” with the primary elections about one year away, McCuan said.

President Barack Obama wants to become the first chief executive to secure full control of both the House and Senate in a midterm election, McCuan said. “It would make him a giant in American politics,” he said.

The president’s party typically loses congressional seats in midterm elections, especially during its second term in the White House.

Democrats aren’t likely to make the economy, Syria or Obamacare a 2014 campaign topic, but gun control could work as a “wedge issue,” especially with suburban women voters, an important demographic, McCuan said.

Thompson’s continued efforts, as chairman of the Democrats’ Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, can “help keep the issue front and center,” McCuan said.

8 Responses to “Rep. Mike Thompson pushes gun background-check legislation”

  1. Dan Drummond Sr says:

    Can’t wait to see the Gun Orgasm Party further prostitute themselves to the NRA with this one.
    It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first. ~Ronald Reagan

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  2. Snarky says:

    We clearly need annual, mandatory drug & alcohol testing of every elected person in CA at the local and state levels.

    Lets reign in government and bring control BACK to the voters.

    While the government people pretend to be important, we can simply remind them that their urine test is due.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  3. John Galt says:

    So let me get this straight:

    - We’ve got $16 TRILLION in debt

    - No budget

    - 30-year low civilian labor participation rate

    - A shrinking economy

    - Higher taxes on the middle class

    - Health insurance premiums skyrocketing as a result of Obamacare

    And the Democrats want to play politics by pushing GUN CONTROL?

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 6

  4. Grapevines says:

    What part of “Shall not be infringed upon” does this talking head not understand?? Looks like we got a nomination for “Wool for Brains” Woolsey.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 11

  5. James Bennett says:

    UN change agent Mike blow up the dams Thompson is carrying out the globalist directive.

    Through the black magic of incrementalism they’ll inch toward their goal.

    Culminating in the house to house militant dynamic they crave.

    Tightly adhere to laws already on the books.

    Look at past and current history regarding gun restrictions.

    The statistics don’t lie, they are irrefutable.

    Going down this road ends in totalitarian tyranny.

    Every time.

    But that’s what globalists are about.

    That’s what their Agenda is about.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 11

  6. Paul says:

    The real CRIME is committed daily when the thirty something pages of fine print firearms laws already on the books in California are all but ignored or watered down by judges and D.A.s in court. That’s right, the people we pay to do this business are letting us down.
    Let’s try ENFORCING ALL THE FIREARMS LAWS ON THE BOOKS TO THE MAX. We don’t need more laws, we need the ones on the books enforced and fully charged.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

  7. Terry says:

    Good commonsense legislation.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 19

  8. Steve Humphrey says:

    Don’t we have enough gun control on the books for those who follow the laws? Try to purchase a firearm. You fill out forms, get fingerprinted, show photo id and then wait ten days while your application is run through at least three government agencies, including DOJ and the FBI before you can complete your purchase.
    Do we really believe those who wish to cause harm are going to abide by any laws?
    This has turned into a big soapbox for politicians. Enough already.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9

Leave a Reply