Barrasso: Extending Background Checks When Admin Isn’t Enforcing Current Law Is Pointless

Brzezinski squares off with Barrasso over no vote on Manchin/Toomey amendment

• May 3, 2013 8:46 am


Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) explained his Manchin/Toomey amendment no vote Friday on "Morning Joe."

Barrasso's principle contention was extending background checks when the administration is not enforcing or prosecuting violators of the current background check system is a meaningless action:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Let me ask you this. I completely agree about mental health legislation. I don't think anyone would disagree with that if they take a close look at the problem and it being an equal component. But guns are clearly, right now, flying loose in our society. Why wouldn't you want — I mean, putting mental health aside, we should do it together but we can't apparently in Washington. Why wouldn't you want a better background check system, a more complete one, or one at least that is better than the one we have? Why wouldn't you vote for that?

JOHN BARRASSO: The one that we have now they are not implementing and not enforcing. What makes you think they will enforce one that does more checks on more people? I mean, that's my question. And in terms of actually the bipartisan mental health proponent, Lamar Alexander, conservative. Tom Harkin, liberal Democrat, they came up with a proposal, 95 senators voted in favor of. That should be the base bill.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: There's a better background check bill that you would support?

JOHN BARRASSO: I support the background check law that we have now but it's not being enforced.


JOHN BARRASSO: Neither the administrations, the current one or the one before has enforced that.