SAFE COMMUNITIES, SAFE SCHOOLS ACT OF 2013--Continued
(Senate - April 17, 2013)

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[Pages S2729-S2744]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         SAFE COMMUNITIES, SAFE SCHOOLS ACT OF 2013--Continued


                           amendment no. 715

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, given the importance of this debate, I 
believe it is important for me to explain why I am supporting amendment 
No. 715, offered by Senators Manchin and Toomey, to S. 649, the Safe 
Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013.
  Like all Americans, my heart goes out to the people of Newtown, 
Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; Tucson, Arizona, and all other cities 
and towns impacted by senseless gun violence. These tragic events are 
impossible to fully comprehend unless you were there and extremely 
difficult to relate to unless you experience the effects personally. 
The rest of us are left with more questions than answers, and 
differing--albeit well-intentioned--solutions designed to preserve our 
way of life while doing our best to ensure these horrible events are 
less likely tomorrow.
  As everyone is aware, in January of 2011, the citizens of my home 
State--as well as people around the country and world--were shocked and 
horrified by the senseless violence of a severely disturbed young man 
with a gun. Six people were killed and 13 injured. One of those victims 
was a bright young Congressional staffer named Gabe Zimmerman, who was 
highly regarded by his colleagues and had a future filled only with 
promise. Yesterday, here in the Capitol at a room dedication for Gabe 
Zimmerman, we were provided with a very real portrait of a man who was 
doing what he loved, serving the people of Arizona, when his life was 
tragically cut short. I think his father's comments are worth repeating 
today. Ross Zimmerman, Gabe's father, said:

       An echo of Gabriel will persist, perhaps for centuries. It 
     isn't worth the loss, but the echo is good and true. . . . I 
     ask that you and our descendents take inspiration from my 
     son's echo as you conduct the affairs of this Congress and 
     the affairs of this nation.

  Another life impacted by those tragic events is that of Congresswoman 
Gabrielle Giffords. Her life, while still filled with great promise, 
was unalterably changed that fateful day. Congresswoman Giffords, and 
her loving husband Captain Mark Kelly--who are both with us here in 
Washington today to witness this debate--reflect the determination of 
the American spirit and are beautiful examples of how good really does 
triumph over evil.
  Gabby, Mark and the countless other examples of heroism and 
resilience that America witnessed in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown and 
elsewhere around the Nation, are clear reminders of why we are all here 
serving, and the gravity of the issues we are asked to address. Their 
presence here today further reminds us that we are here to serve a 
cause greater than our own self-interest. There is nothing like looking 
in the eyes of a still-grieving parent who has just lost a young son or 
daughter to remind you of that fact.

[[Page S2730]]

  For over three decades in Congress, I have built as strong a record 
as anyone in this body in defending the Second Amendment. I have 
consistently opposed the efforts of anti-gun activists to ban guns and 
ammunition, staunchly defending the Constitutional rights that 
Arizonans hold dear. I have voted against assault weapons bans because 
I believed they would not work and opposed efforts to cripple firearms 
manufacturers by making them liable for the acts of violent criminals. 
I have proudly lent my signature to Supreme Court briefs defending an 
individual's right to bear arms. In my view, the wisdom of our Framers' 
inclusion of the right to bear arms is self-evident. And as an 
Arizonan, I understand the significance of gun ownership to the people 
of the West, whether for self-defense, sport, or simple ownership.
  Just as I have long defended the Second Amendment to the 
Constitution, I have also long believed that it is perfectly reasonable 
to use available tools to conduct limited background checks, as this 
amendment prescribes, to help ensure that felons and the mentally-ill 
do not obtain guns they should not possess. In my view, such background 
checks are not overly burdensome or unconstitutional.
  Is this a perfect solution? No. Would it prevent all future acts of 
gun violence? Of course not. Would it have prevented the most recent 
acts of gun violence? In all likelihood, no. But, it is reasonable and 
it is constitutional.
  I approach the issue of gun rights with profound respect for our 
Constitution, and the freedoms and rights that it bestows on each and 
every one of us. I am also guided by a firm commitment that we should 
do everything we can, within the bounds of the Constitution and the 
principles of individual rights and federalism on which it is based, to 
stem the rising tide of gun violence in this country. In this instance, 
neither the United States Supreme Court nor the lower Federal courts 
have held that restrictions on possession for certain classes of 
individuals violate the Second Amendment. In Heller v. District of 
Columbia, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an 
individual right to a well-armed militia. In his Majority opinion, 
Justice Scalia observed:

       Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on 
     longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by 
     felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying 
     of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and 
     government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and 
     qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

  In this instance, I agree with Justice Scalia that a background check 
system is not a restriction of the Second Amendment right to keep arms. 
The issue is plain to me because a background check system only seeks 
to ensure that sellers of firearms do not transfer guns to a prohibited 
class of owners. Restrictions on ownership by certain classes of people 
have existed in federal law for 45 years and have not been 
constitutionally invalidated by the courts.
  In addition to Constitutional concerns, many have expressed concerns 
about the establishment of a national gun registry. If this amendment 
would establish such a registry, I would oppose it. But, it does not. 
In fact, the amendment reinforces the existing Federal ban of a 
national firearms registry. The amendment explicitly states, ``Nothing 
in this title, or any amendment made by this title, shall be construed 
to allow the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a Federal 
firearms registry.'' But, the amendment does not stop there. It would 
also provide for a harsh penalty of 15 years for any person who 
attempts to create a registry and re-affirms that any regulations 
issued by the Department of Justice to ensure criminals and the 
mentally ill do not obtain firearms cannot create a firearms registry.
  Mr. President, every once in a while I have seen some acts of 
political courage and quite often we praise each other and ourselves, 
directly or indirectly, for the positions we take and the votes we 
pass. I wish to take a moment and express my appreciation to the two 
sponsors of this amendment, Senator Manchin and Senator Toomey. Both 
come from States where there are avid and dedicated and legitimate gun 
rights advocates. It would have been easier for both Senator Manchin 
and Senator Toomey to ignore this situation and not reach across the 
aisle to each other to see if we could come up with what I think most 
Americans--in fact, I have seen polls indicating that 80 percent of the 
American people--support, reasonable background checks that do not 
infringe on the constitutional rights of our citizens. I congratulate 
both Senator Manchin and Senator Toomey for taking this position.
  You may not win today, I say to my two colleagues, but I will say 
that you did the right thing. You did the right thing. It has been my 
experience, as a Senator in this body for some years who has not always 
done the right thing, that doing the right thing is always a reward in 
itself.
  Sooner or later this country will take up this issue and it will take 
up the mentally ill issue, and I hope it will take up Hollywood 
violence, and I hope it will take up those programs that may incite 
young people to go out and want to acquire a weapon and use it. But 
what they have tried to do today I think is an act that should be 
appreciated by those of us who, many times, avoid taking the tough 
decisions. I think they are an example to all of us.
  I yield.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Will the Senator yield?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Will the Senator yield for a second? Let me say to 
Senator McCain, I thank the Senator. I truly do. Because with the 
Senator's truly busy schedule--and everybody knows in how many 
directions you are pulled and how you are working--he took time to read 
it. He took time to see we did not invade anybody's private 
transactions. He took time to see that basically we had a Commission on 
Mass Violence that would look at the culture of violence in our 
country. I can only thank the Senator. For someone with the stature of 
the Senator in this body, to take the time to go through that bill word 
by word and know that it does protect our Second Amendment rights, it 
does the things we try to do in a comprehensive way, I want to say 
thank you.
  Mr. McCAIN. I thank my colleague.


                           Amendment No. 730

  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I call up my amendment which is at the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Iowa [Mr. Harkin], for himself, Mr. 
     Alexander, Mr. Franken, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Bennet, Mr. 
     Roberts, Ms. Baldwin, Ms. Ayotte, Mrs. Hagan, Mr. Murphy, and 
     Mr. Blumenthal proposes an amendment numbered 730.

  Mr. HARKIN. I ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text 
of Amendments.'')
  Today, I offer this bipartisan amendment with my colleague Senator 
Alexander and several other members from the Health, Education, Labor, 
and Pensions Committee to reauthorize and improve programs administered 
by both the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services 
related to awareness, prevention, and early identification of mental 
health conditions, and the promotion of linkages to appropriate 
services for children and youth.
  The tragic shooting in Newtown, CT, in December brought the issue of 
mental health care to the forefront of public dialogue. Many people 
across the nation, including the President, have said that we need to 
take a long hard look at access to mental health services across the 
country. I was pleased to have the opportunity to start that dialogue 
with my colleagues on the HELP Committee in January when we held a 
hearing to examine the state of our Nation's mental health care system.
  A starting point of any conversation about mental health is 
recognizing that one of the most insidious stereotypes about people 
with mental illness is that they are inherently violent. It is deeply 
regrettable that some of the discussion in the wake of the Newtown 
tragedy has sadly reinforced this stereotype. As my colleagues in the 
Senate know and as the President has emphasized, people with mental 
illness

[[Page S2731]]

are much more likely to be victims of violent crimes than they are to 
be perpetrators of acts of violence.
  However, for too long, mental health care has not been at the 
forefront of public dialogue, despite the fact that mental illness 
affects one in four Americans every year, and serious mental illness 
affects 1 in 17. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma associated with 
mental illness, and that stigma results in too many people suffering in 
silence without access to the care that could significantly improve 
their lives.
  Unlike many other chronic diseases, mental health problems often 
begin at a young age. Half of all mental illnesses manifest by age 14, 
with another quarter appearing by the age of 24. However, less than 
half of the children with an identified mental health illness receive 
treatment, and the average lag time from the first onset of symptoms to 
receiving treatment is almost a decade.
  This lack of treatment has huge consequences. Some 30,000 Americans 
die by suicide each year, and it is a shocking fact that people with 
serious mental illness die 25 years earlier than Americans overall, 
often from treatable causes like diabetes and smoking-related chronic 
conditions.
  The shame in this is that with access to the right treatments and 
supports, most people with mental illnesses can recover and lead 
productive, healthy lives. But we need to make the critical investments 
that will enable this to happen, and this amendment is about making 
those investments.
  In the past several years, we have made two important steps forward 
in mental health care. First, in 2008 Congress passed the Paul 
Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity 
Act. This long-overdue law put an end to the absurd practice of 
treating mental and physical illness as two different things under 
health insurance. We followed this up with another important step 
forward in the Affordable Care Act, by requiring coverage for mental 
health and substance use disorders as an essential benefit in health 
insurance plans and extending Federal parity protections to 62 million 
Americans.
  Building on these important insurance reforms, we started working in 
the HELP Committee a few months ago to put together a targeted package 
to address some of the most pressing mental health care challenges in 
schools and communities. And last week, the HELP Committee unanimously 
passed and reported out the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement 
Act, which is this amendment.
  The first title of this amendment provides a number of strategies to 
make sure we are addressing the concerns of students with mental health 
needs, starting with prevention and early detection. According to the 
National Institutes of Mental Health, 20 percent of America's 75 
million school-aged children have some mental health needs. This means 
that 15 million students in our K-12 schools have some sort of mental 
health need. A RAND Foundation study found that only a quarter of those 
students needing mental health support received any type of services to 
address their needs. That means over 11 million school-aged children 
may be struggling with mental health concerns and not receiving the 
support that will help them in school, in their home and in their 
communities.
  I worked with Senators Bennet, Alexander, and Murphy on language in 
our amendment that encourages schools to develop and implement 
schoolwide prevention and early intervention programs such as Positive 
Behavior Interventions and Supports, PBIS. Such schoolwide programs 
reach every single student in a school; every grade; every classroom. 
And the programs provide students with both clear information about 
what the expectations are for positive behavior and interactions, and 
the support they need to be successful to meet those expectations.
  Schoolwide programs such as Positive Behavior Interventions and 
Supports are important, but we also know that schools often lack 
sufficient mental health services for students who need more 
comprehensive services. We also need to help schools link to mental 
health services. An NIH study found that most mental health services 
for school-aged children were provided in schools. But schools do not 
always have the expertise to provide those services. I worked with 
Senator Franken to direct the Department of Education to allow for 
grants that would link local schools to community-based mental health 
services, thereby expanding a school's ability to support children who 
have more complex mental health needs and allowing for the training of 
school personnel to meet students' mental health needs.
  Finally, this title allows for the use of Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act title I funds to create or update school crisis 
management plans. These plans are key to ensuring the safety of all 
students and school personnel.
  Because these programs are schoolwide and reach every student, this 
means students receive the support they need early--often before 
problems develop. It also means that students who need more 
comprehensive and complex services are identified early and can be 
linked to those services as soon as possible so that problems don't 
become worse.
  This combination of prevention and early detection of needs, as well 
as expanding the services and supports available to schools, will help 
address the wide gap in mental health supports for school-age children.
  The second title of this amendment focuses on programs at the 
Department of Health and Human Services. I worked with my colleagues 
Senator Reed and Murkowski to reauthorize the Garrett Lee Smith 
Memorial Act, which focuses on suicide prevention on college campuses 
and through grants to States. The bill authorizes ``Mental Health 
Awareness Training Grants,'' a commonsense idea introduced by Senators 
Begich, Blumenthal, and Ayotte to train school and emergency personnel, 
as well as other individuals, to recognize the signs and symptoms of 
mental illness, to become familiar with mental health resources in the 
community, and to safely de-escalate crisis situations.
  I worked with Senator Murray to reauthorize and strengthen the 
National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, which supports a national 
network of child trauma centers in order to coordinate the collection, 
analysis, and reporting of data concerning evidence-based treatments, 
interventions, and practices for children and their families who have 
experienced trauma.
  I also worked with Senator Sanders to authorize and improve the 
National Violent Death Reporting System at CDC which provides valuable 
information about violent deaths so we can look for ways to prevent 
them.
  Finally, the amendment calls for additional information to be 
gathered on mental health services for children, integrating mental 
health and substance use disorder treatments with primary care and the 
implementation of recommendations made after the Virginia Tech tragedy 
in 2007.
  Before I yield the floor, I wish to join my colleagues in expressing 
my appreciation to Senator Manchin and Senator Toomey. They have 
provided great leadership in bringing this legislation forward so that 
we can have background checks. We will be voting on that legislation 
later this afternoon.
  I think it is another example around here--and maybe people will 
learn this too late--of how we can sit down and talk. We won't know 
what kind of agreement can be reached until we sit down and talk to 
people. A person may think he or she is miles apart on an issue, and in 
the beginning maybe they are, but by talking and working things out, we 
can reach good agreements. This is a good example of that.
  The one element I would add to that is that the amendment I just 
called up is an important part of this bill in that it deals with 
mental health services both to children in school and out of school. 
Again, I believe this is a very important part of what we ought to be 
doing to reduce violence and respond to the mental health care needs of 
our young people.
  Again, I thank Senator Manchin and Senator Toomey for their 
tremendous leadership on this important issue.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Coons). The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, in watching this debate, at times I see a 
Senator who actually wants to stand up

[[Page S2732]]

and be the conscience of the Nation. Unfortunately, some quickly want 
to step back from that precipice and be the conscience of a lobby on 
one side or the other.
  As far as being the conscience, we saw that last Thursday when the 
Senate rejected the ill-conceived filibuster against considering the 
Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. The vast majority of 
American people did not want it filibustered. They wanted us to have 
the courage to stand up and vote yes or no, not vote maybe, which is 
what a filibuster is.
  After considering the bipartisan efforts of Senator Manchin and 
Senator Toomey to plug loopholes in the background check system, the 
Senate will consider a partisan alternative offered by Senator 
Grassley, and I will speak about that in a moment.
  Before I do that, I would like to talk about what Senator Collins and 
I have done. I have a bipartisan amendment that will prevent criminals 
from circumventing the existing background check system.


                           Amendment No. 713

(Purpose: To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms 
                              trafficking)

  Mr. President, I call up my amendment numbered 713, the Leahy-Collins 
amendment, which is at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Vermont [Mr. Leahy] for himself, Ms. 
     Collins, and Mr. King, proposes an amendment numbered 713.

  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that further 
reading be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
Amendments.'')
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this amendment makes some minor changes to 
the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act. Our act is designed to 
give law enforcement the necessary tools to combat the practices of 
straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms. An example of 
that is when somebody legally buys a handgun for $500 and then turns 
around and sells it for $1,500 to a drug cartel or somebody who could 
not buy it themselves. Usually they buy a lot more than one weapon; 
they buy a whole lot. They will buy them legally and then sell them to 
people who could never legally buy them. We have seen what that has 
done in Mexico with its drug cartels. We have seen what it has done 
with the drug cartels and gangs in some of our major cities.
  I commend Senator Collins for her work in developing this amendment 
and for her strong support of the law enforcement officials who 
requested this legislation to help them keep our communities safe.
  Straw purchasers circumvent the purposes of the background check 
system. Straw purchasers put guns into the hands of someone who is 
legally prohibited from having one. And it was an ATF whistleblower who 
testified last Congress that the existing firearms laws are 
``toothless.'' We can create better law enforcement tools and that is 
what we are doing with the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act. We 
need to close this dangerous loophole in the law that Mexican drug 
cartels, gangs and other criminals have exploited for too long.
  We know that many guns used in criminal activities are acquired 
through straw purchases. It was a straw purchaser who enabled the 
brutal murders of two brave firefighters in Webster, New York, this 
past Christmas Eve, and it was a straw purchaser who provided firearms 
to an individual who murdered a police officer in Plymouth Township, 
Pennsylvania, last September.
  We need a meaningful solution to this serious problem. We also 
include suggestions from Senator Gillibrand to go after those who 
traffic in firearms by wrongfully obtaining two or more firearms. We 
worked hard to develop effective, targeted legislation that will help 
combat a serious problem and that will do no harm to the Second 
Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
  This Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act--originally introduced 
as S. 54--will make important changes and better equip law enforcement 
officials to investigate and prosecute the all-too-common practices of 
straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms. As I said, these 
are people who are not prohibited by Federal law from purchasing a gun. 
They purchase a firearm on behalf of a person or at the direction of a 
drug trafficker, criminal, or organization, and that is how these large 
criminal organizations are supported. That is how these illegally 
obtained guns are often sold and resold across State lines. Of course, 
this results in the proliferation of illegal firearms and gun violence 
in our communities.
  Gun trafficking and straw purchasing make our communities less safe. 
We recently saw a case where a woman was arrested as a straw purchaser 
after she bought a weapon for a man who then, it appears from the 
evidence, used that weapon to kill the head of the Colorado prison 
system. That man was blocked from buying a weapon. Somebody else bought 
it for him.
  Under current law, there is no specific statute that makes it illegal 
to act as a straw purchaser of firearms. Nor is there a law directly on 
point to address the illegal trafficking of firearms. As a result, 
prosecutors must cobble together charges against a straw purchaser 
using so-called ``paperwork'' violations such as misrepresentations on 
a Federal form. These laws are imperfect, and do not give prosecutors 
the leverage needed to encourage straw buyers, often the lowest rungs 
on a ladder in a criminal enterprise, to provide the information needed 
for investigators and prosecutors to go after those directing and 
profiting from such activity.
  Our bill and this amendment would change that. They will add two new 
provisions to our Federal criminal code to specifically prohibit 
serving as a straw purchaser of firearms and trafficking in firearms. 
The bill establishes tough penalties for these offenses in an effort to 
punish and, importantly, deter this conduct. I was accused at the 
Committee markup on this bill of being too tough on these crimes. I 
believe we need a meaningful solution to these serious problems.

  Another key provision of our bipartisan bill is that it complements 
existing law that makes it a crime to smuggle firearms into the United 
States by specifically prohibiting the smuggling of firearms out of the 
United States. In light of what we know is occurring, particularly on 
our Southwest border, this is an important improvement to current law 
and another tool that was needed but missing over the last few years.
  The provisions in our legislation are focused, commonsense remedies 
to the very real problems of firearms trafficking and straw purchasing. 
Our bill does not affect lawful purchases from Federal firearms 
licensees, and in no way alters their rights and responsibilities as 
sellers of a lawful commodity. We listened to concerns about family 
members who give firearms as gifts and other transfers that are not 
designed to get around the existing background check system. As a 
result, the bill contains important exemptions for the innocent 
transfer of a firearm as a gift, or in relation to a legitimate raffle, 
auction or contest.
  In an effort to encourage even broader support for our bill, Senator 
Collins and I have made changes to our bipartisan bill to emphasize 
that this legislation will have no adverse effect that would impact 
law-abiding gun owners. We have consulted a lot of people on this 
matter, including law enforcement officials, prosecutors, victims, and 
the National Rifle Association. We have consulted gun owners and 
others. We have brought together some very diverse views, which is what 
that legislation is supposed to do. We want to combat the destructive 
practices of straw purchasing and firearms trafficking. I am pleased 
that our discussions with all of these groups resulted in legislation 
that reflects diverse views yet is a focused approach to combat the 
destructive practices of straw purchasing and firearms trafficking, 
while protecting the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
  The amendment has all of the important provisions of the measure that 
was debated and voted on by the Judiciary Committee and passed with a 
bipartisan majority. These include two new Federal criminal statutes 
that will help law enforcement go after straw purchasers and firearms 
traffickers.

[[Page S2733]]

After the bill was reported out of Committee, a Committee report was 
filed in relation to it that made our intent plain in the meaning of 
the bill. The clarifying language likewise ensures that lawful gun 
purchasers can buy firearms from licensed dealers as bona fide gifts or 
raffles or as contest prizes and so on. This amendment should also 
eliminate any concern about imposing potential liability on the 
original purchaser of a firearm for the criminal acts of the ultimate 
recipient of the firearm after it is conveyed by that purchaser and 
reconveyed a number of times. The amendment also includes other 
technical changes to conform the bill to existing law regarding the 
forfeiture of firearms and ammunition.
  Throughout our committee process and discussions, no one was 
questioning the constitutionality of these provisions, and they have 
all accepted the fact that they will help law enforcement. In fact, the 
required nexus to interstate commerce in the bill is identical to that 
already in existing law. Our bill does not create a national firearms 
registry, nor does it place any additional burdens on law-abiding gun 
owners or purchasers.
  I worked with Senator Collins, Senator Durbin, Senator Gillibrand, 
and others to provide a real world, common sense solution to the 
problem of gun trafficking and straw purchasing. There is wide 
agreement that straw purchasing and illegal gun trafficking have to be 
stopped, and that is why law enforcement so strongly supports our 
amendment. In fact, this measure was introduced at the request of law 
enforcement officials who have said for years that they lack the legal 
tools necessary to combat illegal straw purchasing and firearms 
trafficking. It will provide needed tools to fight against the drug 
cartels and other criminals who threaten our communities.
  Like our original bill, the amendment we now offer has the support of 
numerous law enforcement organizations, including the National 
Fraternal Order of Police; the Federal Law Enforcement Officers 
Association; the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the 
Major Cities Chiefs Association; the FBI Agents Association, the 
National District Attorneys Association--an organization on which I was 
privileged to serve as vice president; and all nine member 
organizations of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent 
Gun Violence.
  I mention all these things because we took months doing this. We met 
with everybody. We worked. We listened to opposing views and supporting 
views. Then we had hearings and then we had a markup. But all of a 
sudden, late this morning, with no hearings, no markup, no chance to 
debate it, we have a partisan alternative led by some members of the 
Senate Judiciary Committee.
  In contrast to the broad law enforcement support we have earned for 
our attempt to combat gun trafficking and strawpurchasing, there is 
suddenly a Republican alternative which would gut the protections and 
tools that our law enforcement community needs. That partisan 
alternative was released late this morning and surprisingly the effort 
is led by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. None of their 
provisions was considered through regular order or even offered and 
debated in committee.
  People always speak about regular order, but none of these provisions 
were considered through regular order. None of them were offered or 
debated in committee. All of a sudden, wait, wait. We can't have this 
thing that law enforcement wants. We can't have this thing that might 
actually stop drug cartels and organized crime from getting these guns. 
We have suddenly come up with a new idea this morning. Sorry we don't 
have time to talk about it. Sorry we don't have time to have hearings. 
Sorry we can't go through the committee. Sorry we can't have votes. 
Trust us.
  As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I took my 
responsibility seriously when the committee considered gun violence 
legislation. We held three hearings. We had four lengthy markups. There 
were many amendments circulated and we debated them. The distinguished 
Presiding Officer is a member of that committee. He was there for all 
those hearings. He was there for all that debate. They went on 
sometimes for a long time, but we voted up or down, and we worked to 
broker bipartisan compromises.
  The results: Some of those same members who serve on the Senate 
Judiciary Committee circulated this lengthy substitute--just hours 
before the scheduled vote on their half-baked alternative. It is a weak 
and counterproductive alternative. The substitute is a weak and 
counterproductive alternative, and this weak and counterproductive 
alternative, this partisan substitute, has not been the subject of one 
single hearing or any committee debate or vote.
  The lengthy partisan substitute does several things to make our 
communities less safe. One of its provisions directly undermines what 
Senator Collins and I wish to accomplish. We want to stop trafficking. 
We want to stop drug cartels and organized crime and bank robbers and 
those who would murder government officials. We want to stop them from 
being able to get these guns through straw purchases. The Republican 
substitute requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 
a straw purchaser knew for certain that he was buying for a prohibited 
person. A straw purchaser could have every suspicion in the world that 
the actual buyer is a dangerous criminal, but as long as he 
deliberately shields himself from getting confirmation of that fact, he 
is untouchable. Willful ignorance will be their shield.
  What this alternative Republican amendment does--the one that was 
suddenly sprung on us with no hearings, no votes late today--is it 
actually has a roadmap of how to avoid prosecution, how to do the 
things the drug cartels want and organized crime wants, and to make 
sure they will never be prosecuted. As long as straw purchasers ask no 
questions, bury their heads in the sand, they can't be held 
accountable. They can buy these guns. They can meet somebody in a back 
alley who is trying to hide his face and say: I could have bought this 
legally. Give it to me. Here is your money. Besides that, I will pay a 
300-percent profit and then get away with it.
  The Republican substitute will help the Mexican drug cartels by 
eliminating an existing tool that the Justice Department needs to 
combat violence on the Southwest border. The Republican substitute also 
interferes with state prosecutions of gun crimes. Under existing law, a 
person who is traveling through a state with a gun he is not allowed to 
possess in that state can assert as a defense that he was merely 
traveling between two states in which his possession would be legal. 
This is fair. But the Republican proposal takes this defense and places 
the burden on the state prosecutor to disprove the defendant's claim 
beyond a reasonable doubt in all cases, even if the defendant has 
offered no evidence at all to support his claim. If the state 
prosecutor fails to meet this high burden, the Republican proposal 
requires the state to pay the defendant's attorney's fees. This is a 
clear intrusion on the longstanding police powers of states.
  I urge everyone who cares about helping law enforcement and keeping 
firearms out of the hands of criminals to oppose the Republican 
substitute, number 725, and to support the bipartisan, Leahy-Collins 
amendment, number 713.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is notified the majority time has 
expired.
  Mr. LEAHY. I appreciate that. I hope we will not pass this. I hope we 
will not strip State and Federal law enforcement in their effort of 
trying to protect us.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.


                           Amendment No. 725

  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, I rise to speak on the Grassley-Cruz 
substitute amendment. This amendment has come through the extended 
process of consideration of legislation and, indeed, I think this 
amendment has come to pass precisely the way the process should operate 
as a result of multiple hearings in the Judiciary Committee; taking 
witness testimony, examining what the evidence demonstrates is the 
problem, and then endeavoring to craft a solution that multiple 
Senators have contributed to. It has been a long collaborative process. 
At this point this amendment has over 20 cosponsors, and I am hopeful 
and believe that when it

[[Page S2734]]

comes to a vote, it will receive some significant bipartisan support.
  In my view the approach of the Federal Government to violent crime 
should be very simple. It should be focused on stopping violent 
criminals, and we should devote every resource to stopping violent 
criminals from committing horrific acts of violence. Every one of us 
was horrified by the crime in Newtown, CT--at the senseless killing.
  Mr. LEAHY. Would the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. CRUZ. I am happy to yield.
  Mr. LEAHY. The Senator suggested this went through the process, went 
through the Judiciary Committee. I have been on the committee for 36 
years. I have been chairman for a number of years. I don't recall when 
this happened. Would the Senator from Texas tell me when it was ever 
voted on. Did we ever have a markup? Did we ever have a hearing?
  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, as the distinguished chairman is well aware, 
this amendment was not put before the committee, but it is as a result 
of the process in the committee; the testimony that was given in 
multiple hearings that I was honored to attend with the chairman and 
with the Presiding Officer, and it is in response to that testimony and 
that evidence that over 20 Senators have come together to craft 
legislation that actually addresses the problem.
  Indeed, I would note, my biggest concern with the legislation--the 
Democratic legislation on the floor--is it doesn't address the problem. 
It doesn't target violent criminals. Instead, what it does is it 
targets law-abiding citizens. If we are to be effective in stopping 
violent crime--and I am confident every Member of this body wants to do 
everything we can to stop violent criminals from harming innocents 
among us--the approach that is effective, in my judgment, is targeting 
violent criminals while at the same time safeguarding the 
constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. That is exactly what 
this substitute does. I wish to talk about several aspects of it, all 
of which are directed at targeting bad actors, at targeting violent 
criminals rather than law-abiding citizens.
  One of the disturbing things we discovered in the course of these 
extended hearings in the Judiciary Committee is that the Obama Justice 
Department has not made it a priority to prosecute felons and fugitives 
who attempt to illegally purchase firearms. Indeed, we learned that in 
2010, over 48,000 felons and fugitives attempted to illegally purchase 
firearms. Of those 48,000, the Obama Justice Department prosecuted only 
44. That is 44 out of over 48,000. At the hearing, we heard from a 
police chief who yelled at a Senator and said he didn't have time to 
worry about paperwork violations. I would submit that if a convicted 
felon is trying to illegally buy a gun, that is not a paperwork 
violation, and that is a prime area for focusing law enforcement 
resources, to figure out why that felon wants a gun and to go and 
prosecute them.
  If a fugitive fleeing from justice tries to illegally purchase a gun, 
we need to have the resources to prosecute it. So one of the things 
this bill does is to create a task force within the Department of 
Justice devoted to prosecuting felons and fugitives who attempt to 
illegally purchase guns. It provides $50 million--$10 million a year 
over 5 years--to provide the additional resources to make sure that 
when felons and fugitives try to illegally purchase guns, we go after 
them, we prosecute them, we put them away, and we prevent them from 
acquiring those guns and using them in horrific acts of violence.
  A second aspect of this substitute focuses on gun crimes--instances 
where felons use a gun in the commission of a crime. In 1997, in 
Richmond, the U.S. attorney there pioneered a program called Project 
Exile, which was tremendously successful. I note that was the U.S. 
attorney under a Democratic President, Bill Clinton. Project Exile put 
serious Federal resources to prosecuting under Federal law anyone who 
uses a gun in the commission of a crime. As a result of that innovative 
plan, we saw tremendous success.
  In 1997, before Project Exile had been implemented, Richmond had the 
third highest murder rate in the Nation. Yet, in 1998, after Project 
Exile was implemented, homicides dropped 33 percent. The next year, in 
1999, homicides dropped an additional 21 percent. It was a program that 
worked.
  When President George W. Bush was elected, he expanded the program 
with Project Safe Neighborhoods, focused the same, putting law 
enforcement resources and priorities and prosecuting the use of guns in 
a violent crime. Unfortunately, under the current administration, this 
has not been a priority. Indeed, in firearms cases, prosecutions have 
dropped 30 percent in the Obama Justice Department.
  All of us are united in wanting to stop violent crime and, in 
particular, stopping violent crime with firearms. I would suggest the 
most effective way to do so is to ensure we are prosecuting violent 
criminals who use firearms. For that reason this amendment creates a 
national Project Exile that would, in particular, focus on the 15 
jurisdictions with the highest violent crime rates and three tribal 
jurisdictions with the highest crime rates. It would devote $45 
million--$15 million a year for 3 years--for more assistant U.S. 
attorneys and agents to prosecute violent gun crimes, to target exactly 
who we want to target--violent criminals. I would note as well that 
this legislation also includes new language criminalizing straw 
purchasing, criminalizing trafficking but doing so in a way that 
targets bad actors and doesn't sweep innocent, law-abiding citizens 
inadvertently into its reach.
  A third area of focus is school safety. Unfortunately, the Obama 
administration, in the past several years, has reduced the funding for 
school safety by over $300 million. Indeed, next to me are detailed 
examples: The Secure Our Schools grants were cut $110 million in 2012; 
readiness and emergency management for schools was cut $20 million to 
30 million annually in 2012; school safety initiative was cut $53 
million in 2011; and the safe and drug-free school grants were cut $184 
million in 2010. This substitute restores funding for school safety.
  If the effort is to protect our kids--and I know all 100 Senators 
want to do everything we can to protect our kids--one of the most 
direct ways is to make sure there are resources on the ground 
protecting our kids. So this bill would provide $300 million in 
funding--$30 million a year for 10 years--to do exactly that, to 
provide funding for the secure our schools grants.
  A fourth area is improving the existing background checks as it 
concerns mental illness. If we look for a common theme among these mass 
murders we have seen in recent years, one of the most disturbing themes 
is we have seen person after person with serious mental illness 
accessing firearms and using them to commit horrific acts of violence. 
One of the real problems with our existing background check system is 
some 18 States have essentially refused to comply with reporting mental 
health records. Some 18 States have reported fewer than 100 records to 
the background check system. If adjudications of someone as a danger to 
others--having a serious mental illness that makes them a danger to 
others--if those adjudications are not reported to the background check 
system, then the existing system cannot operate. I would note my home 
State of Texas has devoted considerable efforts to reporting those 
records and, indeed, over 200,000 mental health records have been 
reported from the State of Texas to ensure that those with serious 
mental illness who are a danger to others are prevented from accessing 
firearms.
  If the objective is to stop violent crime, then it seems to me we 
should focus on criminals. I would note that quite intuitive statement 
is not one which I am alone in viewing in that way.
  Recently, a survey was done of over 15,000 law enforcement 
professionals about what measures would be effective stopping violent 
crime. Mr. President, 79.7 percent of law enforcement professionals, in 
this survey done by police, said, one, expanded background checks would 
not be effective in stopping violent crime; 71 percent of law 
enforcement professionals said the assault weapons ban being considered 
by this body would not be effective in stopping violence crime; 
interestingly enough, 20.5 percent of law enforcement professionals 
said if the assault weapons ban were passed, it would actually make 
violent crime worse; and 95.7 percent of law enforcement 
professionals--virtually unanimous--said the

[[Page S2735]]

magazine restrictions that are being considered by this body would not 
be effective in stopping violent crime.
  I would suggest we should listen to the men and women on the ground, 
to the police officers, who risk their lives defending us, defending 
our children, and we should trust their assessment.
  I wish to make two final observations.
  One, there has been considerable discussion about expanding 
background checks. Right now, background checks are required of any 
individual who purchases a firearm from a licensed Federal firearms 
dealer. That is the existing system, and the system that the amendment 
I am proposing would work to improve.
  There is an amendment pending before this body to expand that system 
significantly and in particular to cross a threshold that has not 
previously been crossed: to require Federal Government background 
checks for purely private sales between private individuals. If an 
individual wants to sell, for example, his shotgun, and he puts an ad 
on Craigslist advertising that shotgun, under the pending bill, by 
putting that ad on Craigslist, that individual would be required to 
submit to a Federal background check, would be required to go to a 
Federal firearms dealer to do so, and would, of necessity, have to pay 
whatever fee was set.
  I would note that fee could well be substantial. We do not know what 
that fee would be, but we do know the District of Columbia right now 
charges $150 to conduct a background check. If the fee turned out be 
anything in the order of what the District of Columbia charges, the 
effect of passing that bill would essentially be a Federal Government 
penalty, potentially as much as $150, on an individual who wanted to 
sell his or her shotgun or rifle to another law-abiding citizen in a 
purely private transaction.
  I would suggest if the objective is to stop violent crime, in all of 
the hearings we had before the Judiciary Committee, there was no 
evidence submitted that purely private transactions between private 
citizens were a significant source of firearms used in crimes and that 
regulating them would help reduce violent crime. Indeed, as I said, one 
police chief told the committee he did not have time to prosecute 
felons and fugitives who were illegally trying to purchase guns.
  If law enforcement does not have time to prosecute felons and 
fugitives, then I would suggest they especially do not have time to 
prosecute private citizens in a private consensual sale, when neither 
of those individuals have committed a crime; they are law-abiding 
citizens. That is not an effective use of law enforcement resources.
  But even more problematic, extending background checks to private 
transactions between private individuals--if this body did that--I 
believe would put us inexorably on the path to a national gun registry. 
The reason is simple: Because by extending background checks to private 
transactions--the Department of Justice has been very candid about 
this. The Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice 
explained that with respect to universal background checks, 
``effectiveness depends on requiring gun registration.''
  Mr. SCHUMER. Will my colleague yield for a question?
  Mr. CRUZ. I am happy to yield.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I appreciate my colleague's courtesy.
  I would ask my colleague this: Isn't it the case that the very 
background check proposed in Manchin-Toomey is the same one that has 
been used for 17 years for FFLs, for Federal firearm licensees? Isn't 
it the exact same one?
  Mr. CRUZ. What is not the exact same is extending it to a private 
individual selling to another private individual.
  Mr. SCHUMER. But it is the same technique, it is the same entry into 
the book, and everything else.
  Mr. CRUZ. But what is consequential is extending it to private 
sellers, not licensed dealers. Because the argument surely would be--if 
this bill passed, the argument would immediately become: Well, it 
cannot possibly be effective because we do not know who owns those 
firearms.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Just one more question.
  Has my colleague in the last 17 years detected any move out of 
Washington for a national registration, any specific substantive move 
by ATF, the Justice Department, or any other Federal agency to begin a 
campaign, a move to any kind of national registration?
  Mr. CRUZ. In my opinion, adopting mandatory Federal Government 
background checks for purely private transactions between law-abiding 
citizens puts us inexorably on the path to a push for a Federal 
registry.
  Mr. SCHUMER. But my colleague has not detected any move of that as of 
yet?
  Mr. CRUZ. It is not currently proposed.
  Mr. SCHUMER. OK.
  Mr. CRUZ. But if the bill that is being considered were adopted, it 
would put us on that path, and I think that path would be profoundly 
unwise and would be inconsistent with the Second Amendment right to 
keep and bear arms.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague for his courtesy.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, will my colleague yield for a question?
  Mr. CRUZ. I am happy to yield to my friend from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. I thank my friend from Texas.
  I am a little bit confused since it is my and Senator Toomey's 
amendment, working with Senator Kirk and Senator Schumer. We excluded 
all private transactions. We did not ever even go close to a private 
transaction. Ours is only at gun shows, gun stores, and Internet sales, 
which is controlled now.
  Mr. CRUZ. With respect, the legislative language, as I understand it, 
is triggered whenever there is any form of advertising, be it on the 
Internet or on Craigslist or The Greensheet or anything else, and that 
sweeps in a whole category of new sellers, purely private sellers who 
are not commercial firearms dealers.

  Commercial firearms dealers are already, as my friend is well aware, 
subject to significant regulation. Shifting to a new category of 
private law-abiding citizens is a major threshold and one that I think 
is unwise.
  Mr. MANCHIN. On the Internet right now, as I understand the law as we 
have it, without changing anything--mine or yours--if I buy from you in 
Texas, and you send me that gun, it has to go by law through a licensed 
dealer for me to go get a background check to pick it up. We have not 
changed that, sir. All we do is say if you buy in State or out of State 
they are treated the same.
  Mr. CRUZ. Well, except the bill also applies to any advertising. It 
is not limited to the Internet. I would apply to a listing on 
Craigslist, to a listing in the local newspaper. If an individual 
wanted to sell his or her firearm and advertised in any way, they would 
potentially be guilty of a felony for not going through the Federal 
background check.
  What I would suggest--and I want to be respectful of my time because 
I think I am nearing the conclusion of it--what I would suggest is all 
of us want to stop violent crime. In drafting this substitute, what a 
number of Senators endeavored to do is look at the most effective 
proposals to do exactly that: to stop violent crime. My view is, if you 
have a violent criminal, we should come down on them like a ton of 
bricks. But at the same time we should be especially careful to 
safeguard the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
  The Second Amendment is a critical part of the Bill of Rights, and 
each of us has taken an oath to defend the Constitution--an oath that I 
know every Senator takes quite seriously.
  I would suggest there is no evidence to support the claim that 
regulating millions of law-abiding citizens, who do not currently pose 
a threat, would be remotely effective to stop violent crime. What it 
would do is increase the pressure substantially for a national gun 
registry.
  I would suggest, instead, the contrast between this substitute and 
the Democratic bill is striking. The Democratic bill includes no 
additional resources for prosecution at all. It does not focus on 
prosecuting criminals. I would suggest that omission is quite striking.
  It is my hope that--we are going to have a vote on background checks; 
this body will decide its view in terms of whether to expand those to 
private citizens--but I am hopeful that after

[[Page S2736]]

that vote, when this substitute is considered, we will see some 
significant bipartisan agreement that says let's provide the resources 
to the men and women of law enforcement to go after violent criminals, 
to go after and to incapacitate those with serious mental illness. 
Let's do everything we can to stop violent crime and protect the most 
vulnerable among us.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Will the Senator yield for one quick moment?
  If I may ask the Senator, would he agree that a bill or an amendment 
should be posted for 48 hours prior to voting?
  Mr. CRUZ. Is the Senator suggesting that the Senate should move these 
votes?
  Mr. MANCHIN. No, no. I am saying, does the Senator believe we should 
have 48-hour postings?
  Mr. CRUZ. I think that is ordinarily the right process to follow. In 
this case, this bill, this substitute took considerable time and was 
the result of extended negotiation among a great many Senators. And I 
know my friend from West Virginia has gone through those extended 
negotiations before and surely will again. This was filed as soon as 
there was agreement that brought people together in an area that is my 
hope we should be able to find consensus. We should be able to find 
consensus on targeting violent criminals. That is what this bill 
endeavors to do.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate for 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Mr. President.
  First, I want to thank my colleague from Texas for his courtesy.
  I wish to address two issues here: first, the bill that my good 
friend from West Virginia and my friend from Pennsylvania have worked 
on long and hard, that Senator Kirk and I are sponsors of as well; and, 
second, concealed carry.
  I have always said that background checks are the sweet spot of this 
debate--the sweet spot because it will do the most good and has the 
best chance of passing. If this is the sweet spot, we should take 
advantage of it. Let us step to the plate and not make this a sour day 
for those in Newtown, for those whose families have been victims of gun 
violence, and for all Americans.
  The bottom line is simple: The Brady law was passed in 1994. The NICS 
system came into effect in 1999. And the very system of background 
checks that we are proposing has stopped 1.7 million transactions of 
guns being sold to felons. It is certain that tens of thousands of 
people are walking God's green Earth because of the background checks 
required in the Brady law. But those who have criminal intent and wish 
to get guns, even though they would not be allowed to under Brady, find 
ways around it, and they have. The two leading ways around it are the 
gun shows and sales on the Internet.
  This amendment is very simple. All it does is take the same method of 
background checks and the same method of recording those checks that we 
use now when you walk into a gun shop and apply it to gun shows and to 
sales on the Internet--no more, no less.
  I have not seen any cry from the other side of the aisle to repeal 
the background checks mandated under the Brady law. I have not seen any 
cry saying, they do not work. We have simply seen that they do not 
cover 40 percent, approximately, of gun sales. The bill I originally 
introduced I guess is the gold standard. It covered them all. But in an 
effort to compromise, Senators Manchin and Toomey, with considerable 
courage, worked with us and now individual sales are not covered. But 
the sales on the Internet and sales at gun shows are.
  I say to some of my colleagues who have been allies in the pro-gun 
control movement: Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This 
is a strong, good bill. I say to my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle, the only objection--the only objection we have heard to this 
bill, this proposal of Senators Manchin, Toomey, Kirk, and myself--is 
that it will lead to registration.
  Well, then let me ask or let me refer to my colloquy with the Senator 
from Texas. Has there been a single step toward registration as this 
system has been in place since 1999, 14 years? Not one. So why is it 
all of a sudden that if we extend these to gun shows and Internet 
sales, registration will come down upon us like a plague within a 
matter of months? The argument, and it is the only argument made 
against background checks, that this will cause registration to occur, 
is a canard, plain and simply, an excuse. Because the opponents cannot 
argue against the substance, they come up with this fearmongering 
tactic that this will lead to registration. There is not one jot of 
evidence that the existing law, the same as the new law we are 
proposing, has led to that.
  I would urge my colleagues to step to the plate. Pass this amendment. 
I understand the views on the assault weapons ban, which I so strongly 
support, and the limitation on clips, which I so believe in. They may 
not get a number of votes. But this one is close. This one is close. In 
my judgment, this one will save more lives than any other. Let us show 
the courage, let us show the wisdom, let us show the conviction that 
doing the right thing is the right political thing, and move it.
  One more point. The arguments of reciprocal conceal carry would do 
devastation to the urban areas of New York. To treat the forests of 
Wyoming like Times Square or Yankee Stadium would be wrong. I would 
urge we reject that as well.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. JOHANNS. Mr. President, I rise this afternoon to speak about the 
issue before us, gun violence and the Second Amendment to the 
Constitution. We have all been enormously saddened by the recent 
senseless acts of violence that have affected our Nation. In Congress, 
we have all been deeply moved, and we are all motivated by the 
tragedies.
  However, unfortunately, the legislation currently before the Senate 
would do virtually nothing to address the causes of this violence. This 
legislation, in my judgment, would take us down what I would regard as 
a dangerous path. Rather than focusing on the underlying causes of gun 
violence, this legislation would place onerous restrictions on law-
abiding Americans, who have a right and are exercising their Second 
Amendment rights.
  It should trouble us that the first response to recent tragedies is 
to curtail the Bill of Rights. These rights were so incredibly vital to 
the birth of this great Nation. The Founders specifically limited the 
power of the government to restrict these rights. But this legislation, 
in my judgment, goes beyond and pushes beyond those constitutional 
limits. The bill before us would have a number of adverse effects.
  For example, it would prevent a Nebraskan from using a neighbor's 
shotgun to go trap shooting on a nearby farm or an uncle from giving a 
niece a hunting rifle as a birthday gift without receiving FBI 
approval. As my colleague from Iowa has pointed out, the Deputy 
Director of the National Institute of Justice has written that 
universal background checks can only be enforced if coupled with 
national gun registration.
  This legislation--I agree with the Senator from Texas--would be a 
first step on the path toward a national gun registry, a far cry from 
the vision of our Founders, who exercised this very fundamental right 
to secure our freedom.
  The fact is, had this legislation been law, it would not have 
prevented any of the recent atrocities that have affected families in 
our Nation.
  We will also have the opportunity to vote on a series of amendments. 
One such amendment we will consider is the so-called assault weapons 
ban, which would prohibit law-abiding citizens from possessing certain 
firearms based upon cosmetic characteristics. Once again, this ban 
would do little to prevent future gun violence.
  Furthermore, I find it so incredibly ironic that its proponents think 
these weapons are a problem in the hands of law-abiding citizens but 
apparently see no problem with the same weapons being glorified in 
Hollywood movies and video games. Apparently we should ban these 
devices in rural Nebraska where we grow up around firearms but allow 
our children to idolize Hollywood

[[Page S2737]]

stars committing mass shootings on the big screen and then try it out 
for yourself in a graphic video game where the game is interactive, 
violent, and you are literally shooting at people.
  At the end of the day, this legislation is so incredibly flawed that 
no amount of tweaks or changes can ever possibly improve it. That is 
why I am a cosponsor of the alternative of the Senator from Iowa, a 
complete substitute which seeks to address the root causes of gun 
violence and correctly balances the need to secure our Second Amendment 
rights.
  This amendment focuses on adequate enforcement of the gun laws 
currently on the books, as well as the mental health needs of our 
country. We owe it to the victims of gun violence to pass legislation 
that will actually address the causes of these tragedies; otherwise, it 
will not stop. As Senators who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, 
we owe to it all Americans to protect this fundamental right, this 
right contained in the Bill of Rights that is so vital to the very 
freedom we enjoy.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I rise to address this issue for 5 
minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, first, let me mention I am a gun owner. I 
have an A rating with the NRA. The Second Amendment is extremely 
important to me, my constituents, Pennsylvanians generally, to 
Americans generally.
  Let me be very clear about this too. The Second Amendment does not 
apply equally to every single American. That is not even a 
controversial notion. The Second Amendment was never meant to apply to 
young children. Nobody disputes that. The Second Amendment does not 
apply to people who forfeit their Second Amendment rights by committing 
crimes for which they are convicted. It cannot apply and does not apply 
to people who have been adjudicated as mentally dangerous. These are 
the three classes of Americans for whom the Second Amendment does not 
apply, as it does and should and must for everyone else.
  So the goal Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer and Senator Kirk and 
I set out on when we began this process--I want to thank my friend from 
West Virginia. He has worked harder than anybody on this. Senator 
Schumer has worked very hard as well; Senator Kirk, who from the 
beginning provided very important leadership on this. The goal was to 
see if we could find a way to make it a little bit more difficult for 
the people who have no legal right to have a gun to obtain one. That 
was the goal. Along the way, we thought that if we can find some ways 
to better secure the opportunities for law-abiding citizens to exercise 
their Second Amendment rights, that would be terrific to work into 
this. We did that as well.
  How do we attempt to make it a little bit more difficult for 
criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to purchase handguns? We do 
it actually in two ways. One is to strengthen the existing background 
check system. By strengthening, what I mean is encouraging States to 
provide the information they already have, and that some do provide but 
some do not. In other words, the States have records about people who 
have been adjudicated as dangerously mentally ill, for instance, those 
people who plead not guilty to a crime by reason of insanity, those 
people who are deemed to be mentally incompetent to stand trial. We 
have records at the States of people who have been adjudicated as 
mentally unfit to have a firearm.
  Then, of course, it is States that have the criminal records. So all 
we are doing is encouraging these States to provide this information so 
that when a criminal attempts to buy a handgun or a long gun or when 
someone who is dangerously mentally ill attempts to do so, the 
background check system can capture them.
  That is the first big piece. It does not create a new system. It does 
not expand in any way the existing system except to encourage States to 
provide the information they already have.
  The second thing we do is we ask to have a background check at gun 
shows. We already have background checks if you buy from a licensed 
dealer. In my State of Pennsylvania, anyone who buys a handgun anywhere 
at any time has a background check. What this would do in Pennsylvania 
is it would extend background checks for commercial sales which are 
conducted at gun shows, and for advertised sales over the Internet.
  I have got to tell you, there is absolutely no way that this can be 
construed as an infringement on Second Amendment rights. You do not 
have to take my word for this. But I would take Justice Scalia's word 
for this, in the Heller decision, where he quite rightly came to the 
conclusion, as did a majority of the Supreme Court, a conservative 
majority came to the correct conclusion in my view that the Second 
Amendment is an individual right. It is not contingent on membership in 
a militia, it is not a collective right of multiple people. The 
Founders did not acknowledge collective rights. It is an individual, 
personal right. They were correct.
  But in that decision, Justice Scalia also observed there is nothing 
unconstitutional about legislation that would limit or restrict and try 
to prevent the purchase of firearms by people who do not enjoy this 
right. So that is what we do.
  I know there has been a great deal of concern about a registry. No 
one would oppose a Federal registry of firearms more than I. There is 
no need for the government to have one. Only bad things could result. 
Fortunately, Senator Manchin and I are completely in agreement on this. 
So while it is already illegal, we further strengthen the prohibition 
against that by stating in our amendment that any Federal employee, not 
just those who are members of the ATF but any Federal employee who even 
begins the process of compiling the data that could lead to a registry 
would be committing a felony subject to 15 years imprisonment.
  That is a pretty tough reality, that anyone thinking--even thinking 
about doing this, I think would weigh very seriously, and thereby, I 
believe strongly, we preclude the possibility, the danger of an 
inappropriate registry.
  Finally, I mentioned we enhance the opportunity for law-abiding 
citizens to enjoy their Second Amendment rights. We do it in a variety 
of ways.
  One is we clear up some risks people take, law-abiding citizens who 
are traveling across multiple States, such as a sportsman who packs a 
weapon quite properly but who is traveling into a State which has a 
different regime. We clarify that person is not committing any crimes 
or violating any laws.
  We allow the purchase of handguns out of State. They are subject to 
background checks. Why not?
  Current law prohibits Active-Duty military personnel from buying a 
weapon in their home States. We repeal that as well.
  A similar measure to this--without the benefits to Second Amendment 
supporters and expansion of background checks--was on the House floor 
in 1999. That bill was endorsed by the NRA. I voted for it and a 
majority of Americans voted for it. We did so because it was common 
sense. This isn't gun control, this is common sense. This is a modest 
measure to increase the chances of keeping guns out of the hands of 
people who have no legal right to have a gun.
  We are going to have a close vote today. I wish to thank all of my 
colleagues who considered this and have given us every opportunity to 
make our case. I wish to again thank Senators Manchin, Schumer, and 
Kirk for the very hard work they have done.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Manchin-Toomey amendment.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President our thoughts and prayers are with the 
victims and their families of yesterday's cowardly attack. I appreciate 
the updates I have received from the FBI about the matter and await the 
outcome of their investigation. The President is right to emphasize 
that Americans will not be terrorized.
  In the aftermath of the explosions in Boston we were reminded once 
again how Americans come to each other's aid in a crisis. We witnessed 
citizens and first responders selflessly helping others. Just as first 
responders in Newtown responded in minutes and went headlong into a 
situation without knowing what they would encounter, in Boston we saw 
similar heroism.

[[Page S2738]]

First responders risk their lives to protect the public. That is what 
they do over and over again across the country. I believe that as a 
result of the bravery and speedy response of first responders in 
Connecticut, lives may have been saved on December 14. And we remember 
today that 6 years ago the Nation was stunned by the rampage at 
Virginia Tech.
  Our law enforcement officials deserve our respect and support. Law 
enforcement officers and first responders risk their lives to protect 
the public. That is why I find it so disappointing to hear some blame 
law enforcement for not preventing these tragedies.
  The legislation before the Senate today to improve the Nation's 
background checks system and prosecute gun trafficking would 
significantly assist law enforcement in their efforts to keep the 
public safe. I spoke yesterday about the pending amendment, the 
bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment to close the gun show and other 
loopholes in the background check system while respecting and 
protecting the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners. The 
Senate has had this amendment before it since last Thursday. I trust 
the Senate will vote on it today, and I hope the Senate will adopt it.
  We have had background checks for decades. These checks are an 
accepted part of the process of buying a gun. Like millions of other 
responsible gun owners, I understand that this check is necessary to 
help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are 
dangerous to themselves and others due to mental illness.
  Since 1998, more than 2 million sales to prohibited people have been 
prevented thanks to background checks. That is 2 million times a 
potentially dangerous person trying to get a gun was denied a gun. Is 
that a good thing, a positive thing, in the interest of safer 
communities? Of course it is. Who can credibly argue otherwise?
  What we are now trying to do is improve the background check system. 
We all know there is a huge loophole in our background check system. 
Criminals and others prohibited from buying guns at gun stores can get 
around the background check requirement by going to gun shows. I know 
gun store owners in Vermont. They follow the law and conduct background 
checks. They wonder why others who sell guns do not have to follow 
these same rules. I agree with these responsible business owners. This 
loophole needs to be closed.
  The Manchin-Toomey bipartisan amendment closes the loophole in a way 
that does not infringe upon Second Amendment rights. Sales at gun shows 
and sales using online or print advertising will now be governed by the 
same requirements as gun stores in Vermont and elsewhere. This will 
make us safer. It is focused on gun shows and commercial sales, not 
family gifts or transfers between friends and neighbors. The bill does 
not require background checks for temporary transfers of guns for 
hunting or target shooting. Instead, the bill requires background 
checks for the kind of sales that can be easily exploited by people who 
intend to do harm.
  Why would we not try to plug the loopholes in the law that allow 
dangerous criminals to buy guns without background checks? This is a 
simple matter of common sense. The NRA testified in 1999 in favor of 
mandatory criminal background checks for ``every sale at every gun 
show.''
  This is about plugging loopholes in background checks. No court has 
held that background checks, which have been with us for decades, 
violate the Second Amendment. Indeed, when the U.S. Supreme Court 
expressly held that the Second Amendment provide an individual right in 
the Heller case, it also said that ``longstanding prohibitions on the 
possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill'' do not violate 
the Second Amendment. No one should oppose this amendment on Second 
Amendments grounds because it does not undermine the Second Amendment.
  Some have expressed frustration about the level of prosecutions under 
existing gun laws, and some have suggested that instead of making 
sensible changes to our public safety laws to prevent gun violence, 
Federal law enforcement officials should focus exclusively on existing 
laws. I share some of that frustration, but I do not agree it is a 
valid excuse for Congress to do nothing. Improvements in the 
enforcement of existing laws and efforts to give law enforcement 
officials better tools to do their jobs are not mutually exclusive, 
those efforts complement each other.
  I have noted that Americans are looking to us for solutions and for 
action, not filibustering or sloganeering. This is something we can 
come together to accomplish. No one can or will take our Second 
Amendment rights or our guns away. They are not at risk. But lives are 
at risk when responsible people fail to stand up for laws that will 
keep guns out of the hands of those who will use them to commit crimes 
of violence. This is something we can come together and do to make 
America safer and more secure.
  I have also been encouraging the Senator from West Virginia in his 
efforts. He has shown great leadership, sensitivity, and perseverance. 
I commend Senator Toomey for his willingness to join in this 
legislative effort. Together, they have done the Senate and the country 
a great service.
  Improving the background check system is a matter of common sense. 
Senators Manchin and Toomey have shown that it can be accomplished in a 
way that better protects our communities and fully respects our Second 
Amendment rights. I am pleased to support this bipartisan solution.


                           Amendment No. 714

  Several opponents to the gun violence measure pending have tried to 
justify their opposition to legislation designed to keep guns out of 
the hands of criminals by claiming that these measures would not have 
prevented the tragedy in Newtown or any other mass killings. I think 
that argument makes no sense.
  We should be responding to protect our communities with a broad 
approach to help law enforcement go after gun traffickers and straw 
purchasers who arm drug cartels and plug loopholes in our background 
check system.
  In addition to those important steps, the pending amendment to limit 
ammunition clip size directly addresses some of our most recent gun 
violence tragedies. It is clear that several victims of gun violence 
would be alive today if the gunman had been required to pause 
momentarily to change his ammunition clip. When I decided to call for 
hearings on gun violence before the first Judiciary Committee several 
months ago, I wanted the public to hear directly from victims of gun 
violence. We began our first of three hearings with former 
Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. She called on us to act in the wake of 
too many American tragedies and her battle to recover from gun violence 
is an inspiration to all of us fighting for legislation today.
  At that same hearing, her husband, CAPT Mark Kelly, testified about 
the day his wife was gunned down. He said:

       The shooter in Tucson showed up with two 33-round 
     magazines, one of which was in his 9 millimeter. He unloaded 
     the contents of that magazine in 15 seconds. Very quickly. It 
     all happened very, very fast. The first bullet went into 
     Gabby's head. Bullet number 13 went into a 9-year-old girl 
     named Christina-Taylor Green, who was very interested in 
     democracy and our Government and really deserved a full life 
     committed to advancing those ideas. If he had a 10-round 
     magazine--well, let me back up. When he tried to reload one 
     33-round magazine with another 33-round magazine, he dropped 
     it. And a woman named Patricia Maisch grabbed it, and it gave 
     bystanders a time to tackle him. I contend if that same thing 
     happened when he was trying to reload one 10-round magazine 
     with another 10-round magazine, meaning he did not have 
     access to a high-capacity magazine, and the same thing 
     happened, Christina-Taylor Green would be alive today.

  That was a direct quote from CAPT Mark Kelly's testimony. It is 
chilling to think that something we could pass today could save the 
next Christina-Taylor Green.
  The Judiciary Committee also heard from Neil Heslin, whose son was 
murdered at Sandy Hook. He testified in support of limiting high-
capacity magazines. We cannot forget his son Jesse or the 19 other 
precious children who were gunned down in December or the brave 
educators who sacrificed their lives trying to protect children.
  A reasonable limit on the size of ammunition clips is a modest step 
going forward. This amendment would not apply retroactively. No lawful 
gun owner will have to turn over anything.
  It is a cruel irony that in some States we are more protective of the

[[Page S2739]]

deer being hunted than our children. In Vermont, we have very few laws 
affecting the right to bear arms, but we do limit the ammunition clips 
used in hunting. It is not a threat to the Second Amendment to limit 
clip size in hunting, so why is it a threat to limit them when the 
potential targets are people? The reality is that the Second Amendment 
is not under threat, but our children are.
  I am a responsible gun owner. I have owned and shot weapons with many 
different styles of ammunition clips, so I understand the issue we are 
considering. Requiring a gun owner to change clips more often is not 
too much to ask when we see the human costs of high-capacity magazines 
in mass shootings. The law enforcement organizations that work on the 
frontlines in our cities and towns support this amendment. The grieving 
families are right to raise this issue because even if we save one or 
two lives with this change, it is worth it.
  Just as I said in 1993 when I voted for the Feinstein-DeConcini bill, 
this amendment is not going to solve all violent crime, but it will 
make people safer. I believe that limiting the size of ammunition clips 
going forward could save lives in the next mass shooting. I do not want 
to wonder if we could have done more when another son or daughter is 
killed. I will support this amendment. It is the right thing to do for 
public safety and to honor the young lives lost in Newtown, in Aurora, 
and in Tucson.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today in support of commonsense 
legislation to address the epidemic of gun violence in America.
  In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, Americans across the country 
began a solemn discussion about gun violence, and an emerging consensus 
has formed around several much-needed reforms.
  The Senate Judiciary Committee heard compelling testimony in support 
of these measures, we debated them, and we reported them to the full 
Senate. It is time now for the Senate to debate and pass this 
legislation. We can achieve greater safety in our schools, movie 
theaters, churches, and malls, and on our city streets, without 
infringing on anyone's constitutional right to bear arms.
  A large majority of the public wants to keep dangerous weapons off 
the streets and out of the hands of criminals.
  The legislation that we are voting on includes several important 
provisions. First, it would close loopholes that allow millions of gun 
purchasers each year to evade the background check system without 
scrutiny. Under current law, a convicted felon, a drug addict, a 
domestic abuser, or someone who has been determined by a court to be 
dangerously mentally ill, can easily evade background checks by 
purchasing firearms at a gun show or online.
  The American people understand that allowing so many gun purchasers 
to evade background check laws does not make sense: Universal 
background checks are supported by over 90 percent of the public. As 
President Obama has said, ``How often do 90 percent of Americans agree 
on anything?''
  Second, to stop people from subverting existing gun laws, this 
legislation clearly outlaws straw purchases, where an individual buys a 
firearm for someone who cannot legally buy one. It also clarifies and 
expands existing trafficking laws to give our law enforcement officials 
the tools they need to combat gun violence.
  Third, the legislation includes a commonsense grant program to 
improve school and campus safety. No parent should have to worry, when 
they walk their son to the bus stop, or drop their daughter off at her 
dorm, whether they are safe. I hope we can all agree on the importance 
of protecting our children.
  We will also be considering an assault weapons ban as an amendment. 
This proposal, which I cosponsor, helps restrict the sort of military-
style assault weapons that have no place in a civilian setting.
  I know that in the politics of this issue, the assault weapons ban 
has uphill sledding. But I would certainly hope we can agree on a ban 
on high-capacity magazines. The full assault weapons ban has the 
support of the majority of Americans; the ban on high-capacity 
magazines has even more overwhelming support from the public. In recent 
polling, 65 percent of Americans said that they support a ban on high-
capacity magazines.
  It is no wonder that the public overwhelmingly supports this ban. As 
we heard in testimony before the Judiciary Committee and in other 
venues, in almost every mass shooting in the past few years, high-
capacity magazines led to additional deaths and injuries.
  John Walsh, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, testified 
that in Aurora the shooter used a hundred-round drum and was able to 
murder 12 people and injure 58 in a matter of 90 seconds. The carnage 
only stopped when that ultra-large feeding device jammed.
  Captain Mark Kelly testified that in Tucson, the shooter had a 33 
round magazine and was able to kill 6 people and injure 12 in a matter 
of 15 seconds. He was only overwhelmed when he eventually had to change 
magazines. Nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was killed by the 
thirteenth bullet from that magazine. That little girl might well be 
alive today if her murderer had to stop to reload after 10 rounds.
  We have heard no reasonable justification for why any civilian needs 
these deadly devices. They are not appropriate for hunting. A number of 
laws already restrict the number of rounds per magazine for hunting, 
and most sportsmen would not want to hunt with high-capacity magazines.
  These magazines also are not necessary or appropriate for self-
defense. Opponents of this legislation talk about the need for high-
capacity magazines and assault weapons in nightmare scenarios: society 
breaking down following a terrorist attack, or natural disaster; or 
gangs of armed intruders breaking into homes.
  But there is no evidence that anyone has been made safer by having 
access to these magazines, and law enforcement officials and experts 
have repeatedly pointed to the dangers of keeping them in the home. 
Even some gun clubs ban their use on the range, because they are so 
dangerous.
  I have also cosponsored an amendment to close the so-called ``terror 
gap.'' Believe it or not, under the existing law, someone on a 
terrorist watch list would not be allowed to board an airplane, but 
there is nothing stopping him or her from buying a gun. This loophole 
is ridiculous and dangerous, and we should close it immediately.
  These proposals are reasonable measures that would make our 
communities safer from gun violence. I urge the Senate to pass them.


                           Amendment No. 715

  The VICE PRESIDENT. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form prior to the vote 
on amendment No. 715, offered by Mr. Manchin.
  The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. If you are committed to protecting Second Amendment 
rights, as I am, as well as the great citizens of this country, vote 
for this bill. If you desire for all of our veterans to be treated with 
dignity and due process when they return from battle, vote for this 
bill. If you wish to keep criminals and dangerously mentally ill people 
from purchasing guns at gun shows and on the Internet, you should vote 
for this bill.
  To always remember those 20 babies, beautiful children, the six brave 
teachers, and to honor the most courageous family members I have ever 
met in my life, please vote for this bill.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I strongly oppose this amendment.
  Expanded background checks would not have prevented Newtown. 
Criminals do not submit to background checks now; they will not submit 
to expanded background checks.
  The Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice has written 
background checks will work only if they are universal and are combined 
with gun registration.
  This amendment would start us down the road to registration. It would 
open, not close, loopholes.
  It would require background checks when people advertise a gun for 
sale in their church bulletins or Farm Bureau newsletter. It subjects 
people to Federal criminal liability up to 5 years for violations of 
State or local law, which is unprecedented.

[[Page S2740]]

  The pro-gun provisions would actually reduce existing protections for 
law-abiding gun owners.
  I urge my colleagues to reject this dangerous and misguided approach.
  I yield back the remainder of my time, and I yield the floor.
  Mr. TOOMEY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 54, nays 46, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 97 Leg.]

                                YEAS--54

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cowan
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCain
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Toomey
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--46

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Lee
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Reid
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Vitter
     Wicker
  The VICE PRESIDENT. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes for 
the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.
  The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I enter a motion to reconsider the vote by 
which the Manchin amendment No. 715 was not agreed to.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. The motion is entered.


                           Amendment No. 725

  There is now 2 minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in 
relation to amendment No. 725, offered by the Senator from Iowa, Mr. 
Grassley.
  Who yields time?
  (Disturbance in Visitor's Gallery.)
  The VICE PRESIDENT. There will be order in the Senate. The gallery 
will refrain from any demonstration or comment.
  The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, I rise to speak in favor of the Grassley-
Cruz substitute.
  Now that the previous vote has been taken, I would suggest this is a 
bill we all should be able to support. This is a bill that provides 
major resources to prosecuting violent criminals, to going after 
felons, to going after fugitives, to preventing them from getting guns. 
It provides resources for school safety. It provides additional 
resources to improve the background check system and to encourage 
States to provide more records on mental health illness.
  This is a strong law enforcement bill. I know everyone in this body, 
regardless of party, wants to act decisively to stop violent crime, and 
it would be a shame if this amendment is subject to a partisan vote 
which would result in inaction rather than our standing together to put 
law enforcement resources toward stopping violent crime.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator's time has expired.
  The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the argument we just heard is absolutely 
upside-down of what that amendment is. This amendment guts the bill, it 
guts the straw purchasing provisions, it guts the gun trafficking 
provisions. It totally undermines law enforcement.
  Law enforcement strongly supports the next amendment we have--the 
Leahy-Collins--but all this does, this substitute amendment, is aid 
Mexican drug cartels, eliminates the tools being used to get law 
enforcement investigatory leads. It undermines rather than strengthens 
the current background check.
  We talk about do we enforce our laws. If you want to gut our laws, 
which this one does, don't argue they are not being enforced. This 
handcuffs law enforcement, helps drug cartels, helps drug syndicates. 
It is a bad amendment.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Brown). The Senator's time has expired.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. BARRASSO. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 98 Leg.]

                                YEAS--52

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Hatch
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Landrieu
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                                NAYS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cowan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Lee
     Levin
     Manchin
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of the amendment, this amendment is rejected.
  Mr. LEAHY. I move to reconsider the vote and move to lay that motion 
on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 713

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 713, offered by the Senator from Vermont, Mr. Leahy.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, Senator Collins and I, as well as other 
Senators in both parties, worked with law enforcement, worked with the 
NRA, worked with a whole lot of others to craft this amendment. It 
gives law enforcement officials the tools they need to stop the all-
too-common practices of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of 
firearms. This gives us the tools to go after drug cartels that use 
straw purchasers to get their guns and gangs in big cities that use 
straw purchasers to get their guns.
  It is an important law enforcement measure. Across the political 
spectrum, law enforcement supports it. Let's stand with law enforcement 
and vote aye.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  The Senator from Texas is recognized.
  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, I rise to speak against this amendment. It 
is worthwhile to strengthen the protections against straw purchasing 
and trafficking, but unfortunately this language, in my judgment, is 
overbroad and in particular has a real risk of criminalizing innocent 
conduct. For example, if your father asks you to purchase a firearm for 
him and your father pays you, under this bill both you and your father 
become felons because it bans any purchase for another person if that 
individual pays for it. In my judgment, that is overbroad, and that is 
the reason why in the prior amendment we changed the language to target 
bad actors and to exclude innocent conduct, to avoid ensnaring those 
law-abiding citizens with no ill will and inadvertently making law-
abiding gun owners into felons.
  I urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment.

[[Page S2741]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. CRUZ. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 58, nays 42, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 99 Leg.]

                                YEAS--58

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cowan
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--42

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Schatz). Under the previous order 
requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is 
rejected.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mrs. BOXER. I move to lay the motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 719

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 719 offered by the Senator from Texas, Mr. Cornyn.
  The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. My amendment is called the Constitutional Concealed Carry 
Act because it is designed to protect the fundamental Second Amendment 
rights of American citizens who are traveling or temporarily away from 
home while they hold a concealed handgun license.
  There is only one State and the District of Columbia that do not 
recognize some form of concealed gun carry law. In other words, it is 
part of the public policy of 49 States that concealed handgun licenses 
may be obtained by lawful owners.
  Our amendment would allow persons with concealed handgun permits be 
allowed to carry those weapons as they travel between jurisdictions and 
avoid any sort of prosecution. This does not create a national 
standard. It does not apply to jurisdictions that don't otherwise 
recognize the right to the conceal carry law. In effect, it would act 
like a driver's license so the gun owner doesn't have to get a separate 
license in each State they travel through. For those who believe 
background checks are important, this is a background check on 
steroids.
  I ask my colleagues to support the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. This amendment would wreak havoc in large portions of 
America--suburban and urban areas. The bottom line is very simple: In 
Wyoming maybe the conceal carry law works. Every police officer in 
America, all of them, will say that the conceal carry law would be a 
disaster in Times Square, the L.A. Coliseum, or in the Dallas, TX, 
stadium. It would be a disgrace. Police officers would not know who is 
carrying and who is not carrying a weapon. Because there are no 
residency requirements, criminals from our States could go to States 
such as Florida, get a conceal carry permit, and criminals and felons 
could legally conceal and carry weapons in other States.
  We hear a lot of talk about States rights. This is a classic States 
rights vote. Let Wyoming do what it wants to do with conceal carry, but 
don't impose that on New York and vice versa.
  I strongly, strongly urge that this amendment--which takes one way of 
life in America and imposes it on all ways of life--be defeated.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the Cornyn amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 57, nays 43, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 100 Leg.]

                                YEAS--57

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Landrieu
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Warner
     Wicker

                                NAYS--43

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cowan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harkin
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. LEAHY. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, if I could have order, we are going to have 
three more votes tonight, and we are going to finish a number of things 
that have already been scheduled on this legislation tomorrow. Senator 
McConnell and I will meet in the meantime to decide our path forward.
  So three more votes tonight and then we will finish sometime in the 
morning.


                           Amendment No. 711

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there is now 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 711 offered by the Senator from California, Mrs. 
Feinstein.
  The Senator from California.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I have watched these votes and I must 
say I view them with substantial dismay at the lack of courage in this 
Chamber--courage to stand and say: We have had enough of these 
killings. We have had enough of the development of highly militarized 
weapons--easy to shoot, big clips, 100-plus bullets in each, large 
velocity guns--falling into the hands of grievous killers, juveniles, 
people who are mentally disturbed. There will be no background checks, 
apparently, and we have a proliferation of these weapons.
  I have a hard time understanding it. We are here on 6-year terms for 
a reason: to take votes on difficult issues. Everything needs 60 votes 
today. This is supposed to be a majority body. We have crafted an 
assault weapons bill to truly represent the people of America. Every 
single poll has shown support for this.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Let me conclude by saying this: I know how this is 
going to end, and the despair and the dismay of families standing out 
there whose safety we need to protect, and we don't do it--I am very 
chagrined and concerned. If anybody cares, vote at least to 
prospectively ban the manufacture, the sale, the importation of 
military-style assault weapons. Show some guts. Thank you.

[[Page S2742]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I strongly oppose this amendment. This 
would result in the largest ban of guns in the history of our Republic.
  Three studies that the Justice Department sponsored during the 
previous ban found no evidence it was effective in reducing multiple 
victim shootings or wounds per victim. It did not stop Columbine. It 
would not stop Newtown. The ban does not apply to existing weapons such 
as those used at Newtown, and criminals who would steal such guns would 
not care the least if they were banned.
  We never received an opinion from the Justice Department that such a 
ban would satisfy the Second Amendment. I surmise they are not able to 
conclude it is constitutional. A ban on guns based on their looks when 
more powerful guns are exempt would not satisfy any standard of review. 
These guns are commonly used, in the words of the Supreme Court, for 
self-defense. They cannot be constitutionally banned.
  This is a slippery slope of compromising the Second Amendment, and if 
we go down that road, we are going to find it easier to compromise 
other things in the Bill of Rights.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 40, nays 60, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 101 Leg.]

                                YEAS--40

     Baldwin
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cowan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harkin
     Hirono
     Kaine
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--60

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     King
     Landrieu
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Warner
     Wicker
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Hirono). Under the previous order 
requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is 
rejected.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. CARDIN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 720

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there is now 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 720, offered by the Senator from North Carolina, Mr. 
Burr.
  The Senator from North Carolina.
  Mr. BURR. Madam President, I am going to be brief because I do want 
my colleagues to listen. This is an important amendment.
  Today, the VA determination is that if a veteran cannot handle their 
own finances, then their name is referred to the FBI and they are put 
on the NICS list. Today, 129,000 veterans are on the NICS list. Yes, 
there is an appellate process to get off, but the VA provides no help 
to the veteran. The cost is all incurred by the veteran. Only 200 
veterans have applied for that reversal in the decision, and only 6 
have been granted. They should never be put on it. A determination that 
they cannot handle their own finances is not a determination that they 
are a threat to themselves or to the public.
  This bill is very simple. It says that if the VA makes a 
determination, there has to be a judicial decision to put them on NICS 
lists. That is the standard everywhere else in the Federal Government.
  I urge my colleagues to support this very important piece of 
legislation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, when we began this debate, we talked 
about strengthening the NICS system, we talked about how people who 
have mental illness should be added to the list so they might not get 
guns. And here, in one amendment, in one fell swoop, we will take 
165,000 people off that list.
  Does my colleague, my dear friend from North Carolina, believe every 
single one of those people should be allowed to carry a gun? Of course 
not. If there are injustices to some of those folks, then let's have a 
system that deals with it. But you do not--you do not--in one fell 
swoop take 165,000 people, all of whom have some degree of 
incompetence, off the list.
  It is unbelievable that at a time when we are supposed to be 
strengthening the NICS system with people who are adjudicated or judged 
otherwise mentally ill, we are considering tonight taking a giant step 
backward and reducing the list. What is America going to think is going 
on in this body?
  I strongly urge a ``no'' vote.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. WICKER. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 56, nays 44, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 102 Leg.]

                                YEAS--56

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Hatch
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     King
     Kirk
     Landrieu
     Lee
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                                NAYS--44

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cowan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     Klobuchar
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Donnelly). Under the previous order 
requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is 
rejected.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. LEVIN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 714

  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, on behalf of myself, my friend, and a 
great champion, Senator Frank Lautenberg with us today, and others, 
including my colleague Senator Christopher Murphy, I call up amendment 
No. 714.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Blumenthal], for himself, 
     Mr. Lautenberg, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Whitehouse, 
     Mr. Cowan, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. 
     Merkley, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Carper, Ms. Warren, Mr. Levin, Mr. 
     Durbin, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Menendez, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. 
     Franken, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Schumer, and Mr. Harkin, proposes an 
     amendment numbered 714.

  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S2743]]

  The amendment is as follows:

    (Purpose: To regulate large capacity ammunition feeding devices)

       At the end, add the following:

          TITLE IV--LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES

     SEC. 401. DEFINITIONS.

       Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended 
     by inserting after paragraph (29) the following:
       ``(30) The term `large capacity ammunition feeding 
     device'--
       ``(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar 
     device, including any such device joined or coupled with 
     another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or 
     that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to 
     accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; and
       ``(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed 
     to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber 
     rimfire ammunition.
       ``(31) The term `qualified law enforcement officer' has the 
     meaning given the term in section 926B.''.

     SEC. 402. RESTRICTIONS ON LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING 
                   DEVICES.

       (a) In General.--Section 922 of title 18, United States 
     Code, as amended by this Act, is amended by inserting after 
     subsection (u) the following:
       ``(v)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, 
     manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate 
     or foreign commerce, a large capacity ammunition feeding 
     device.
       ``(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession of 
     any large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise 
     lawfully possessed on or before the date of enactment of the 
     Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013.
       ``(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to--
       ``(A) the importation for, manufacture for, sale to, 
     transfer to, or possession by the United States or a 
     department or agency of the United States or a State or a 
     department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a 
     sale or transfer to or possession by a qualified law 
     enforcement officer employed by the United States or a 
     department or agency of the United States or a State or a 
     department, agency, or political subdivision of a State for 
     purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty), or a 
     sale or transfer to or possession by a campus law enforcement 
     officer for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off 
     duty);
       ``(B) the importation for, or sale or transfer to a 
     licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for 
     purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical 
     protection system and security organization required by 
     Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of 
     such licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for 
     purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of 
     nuclear materials;
       ``(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired in 
     good standing from service with a law enforcement agency and 
     is not otherwise prohibited from receiving ammunition, of a 
     large capacity ammunition feeding device--
       ``(i) sold or transferred to the individual by the agency 
     upon such retirement; or
       ``(ii) that the individual purchased, or otherwise 
     obtained, for official use before such retirement; or
       ``(D) the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or 
     possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device by 
     a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes 
     of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney 
     General.
       ``(4) For purposes of paragraph (3)(A), the term `campus 
     law enforcement officer' means an individual who is--
       ``(A) employed by a private institution of higher education 
     that is eligible for funding under title IV of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.);
       ``(B) responsible for the prevention or investigation of 
     crime involving injury to persons or property, including 
     apprehension or detention of persons for such crimes;
       ``(C) authorized by Federal, State, or local law to carry a 
     firearm, execute search warrants, and make arrests; and
       ``(D) recognized, commissioned, or certified by a 
     government entity as a law enforcement officer.''.
       (b) Identification Markings for Large Capacity Ammunition 
     Feeding Devices.--Section 923(i) of title 18, United States 
     Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``A 
     large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after 
     the date of enactment of the Safe Communities, Safe Schools 
     Act of 2013 shall be identified by a serial number and the 
     date on which the device was manufactured or made, legibly 
     and conspicuously engraved or cast on the device, and such 
     other identification as the Attorney General shall by 
     regulations prescribe.''.
       (c) Seizure and Forfeiture of Large Capacity Ammunition 
     Feeding Devices.--Section 924(d) of title 18, United States 
     Code, is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)--
       (A) by inserting ``or large capacity ammunition feeding 
     device'' after ``firearm or ammunition'' each place the term 
     appears;
       (B) by inserting ``or large capacity ammunition feeding 
     device'' after ``firearms or ammunition'' each place the term 
     appears; and
       (C) by striking ``or (k)'' and inserting ``(k), or (v)'';
       (2) in paragraph (2)(C), by inserting ``or large capacity 
     ammunition feeding devices'' after ``firearms or quantities 
     of ammunition''; and
       (3) in paragraph (3)(E), by inserting ``922(v),'' after 
     ``922(n),''.

     SEC. 403. PENALTIES.

       Section 924(a)(1)(B) of title 18, United States Code, as 
     amended by this Act, is amended by inserting ``(v),'' after 
     ``(q),''.

     SEC. 404. USE OF BYRNE GRANTS FOR BUY-BACK PROGRAMS FOR LARGE 
                   CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES.

       Section 501(a)(1) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
     Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3751(a)(1)), as amended by 
     this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(I) Compensation for surrendered large capacity 
     ammunition feeding devices, as that term is defined in 
     section 921 of title 18, United States Code, under buy-back 
     programs for large capacity ammunition feeding devices.''.

     SEC. 405. SEVERABILITY.

       If any provision of this title, an amendment made by this 
     title, or the application of such provision or amendment to 
     any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, 
     the remainder of this title, the amendments made by this 
     title, and the application of such provision or amendment to 
     any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there is 2 minutes 
of debate equally divided.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. This amendment, very simply, would ban high-capacity 
magazines of more than 10 rounds which are used to kill more people 
more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass 
shootings since 1982.
  I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, 
prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity 
magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families, to 
Nicole Hockley, whose son, Dylan Hockley, was killed by a man who used 
a high-capacity magazine. She said of the man who killed her son, he 
left the smaller capacity magazines at home. He knew the larger 
capacity magazines were more lethal.
  I ask my colleagues to listen to Bill Sherlach whose wife Mary 
Sherlach was killed on December 14.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I oppose the amendment. In 2004, we had 
a study by the Department of Justice, which is the last time we had the 
large-capacity magazine banned. It found no evidence banning such 
magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also 
concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack 
depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without 
reloading.
  The report found no evidence more people would be alive if a magazine 
over 10 rounds was banned.
  Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced 
the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in 
effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded 
than before it was adopted.
  Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully 
owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not 
unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, 
as in the case of law enforcement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I urge its defeat.
  Mr. CARDIN. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 46, nays 54, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 103 Leg.]

                                YEAS--46

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cowan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller

[[Page S2744]]


     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--54

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Hatch
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (WI)
     Landrieu
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Warner
     Wicker
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Heinrich). Under the previous order 
requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is 
rejected.
  The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that following 
leader remarks tomorrow, Thursday, April 18, the Senate resume 
consideration of S. 649; that the time until noon be equally divided 
and controlled between the two leaders or their designees for debate on 
the Barrasso and Harkin amendments; that at noon the Senate proceed to 
votes in relation to the Barrasso and Harkin amendments, in that order, 
with all other provisions of the previous order remaining in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________