Bob Casey, Pat Toomey Aren’t Rejecting President Obama’s Gun Proposals, Yet
Both of Pennsylvania’s senators have reputations for being Second Amendment types who, as the phrase goes, “clint to their guns”—or, at least, their gun-loving voters. But each is sound ing a note of caution in the wake of President Obama’s proposals on Wednesday to crack down on gun violence.
“I am carefully reviewing the President’s proposals,” Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican said in a written statement. “Second Amendment rights are important to many Pennsylvanians and must be protected, but there may be areas of agreement with the White House that can be addressed to improve public safety.”
Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, offered a similarly cautious response. “I think whether as member of Congress or citizens we should examine closely and if we disagree we should make it known,” Casey said at a press conference in York. “But for politicians to start condemming when all they have read is the summary… I think people should, especially politicians, they aren’t expressing opinion. They have to cast a vote. There should be some considered judgment, some thorough review before you make a blanket statement and say you are against it.”
Roll Call reports that area lawmakers on both sides of the aisle could end up supporting the president’s proposals—or, at the very least, will be targeted by anti-gun pressure groups. Patrick Meehan and Jon Runyan, Republicans from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively, are among the targets.
“We will be doing polling in a lot of districts, and we will be giving our mayors and grass-roots survivors something to do everyday,” said Mark Glaze, a lobbyist at the Raben Group, who represents Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a well-funded bipartisan group led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Other Pennsylvania lawmakers were more openly skeptical. The Washington Examiner reports:
Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who represents a moderate Republican district that includes Allentown sees no need to antagonize his constituents. “This AR-15 that they’re all talking about is one of the most popular hunting rifles in the country,” Dent toldPolitico.
And CBS News adds:
Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., told CBS News that “the president’s just making a political move and it’s a shame that he’s using this situation for political reasons.”
More to come, surely.