Sen. Toomey talks ‘red flag law’ and background checks expansion

LEWISBURG- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey was in the Valley Monday afternoon. Senator Toomey made a stop at the Miller Center in Lewisburg and discussed a range of topics, including remarks about the shootings which took place in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas over the weekend, “My first experience is even despite the number of times we’ve been through some horrific version of this, it’s still shocking, and deeply disturbing and troubling when we learn of another massacre of innocent men and women and children by some individual, and virtually every time, it’s a derranged individual that got the idea that somehow, this was a good idea.”

He discussed the challenge of violence in our culture,”I think there is an awful lot of violence in our culture, our backdrop, and I think that’s worth thinking about. It’s very hard to change the culture. I think we have not been very successful at figuring out how to be able to identify the young man who is harboring dangerous thoughts. He’s alienated, he’s maybe ostracized. We need to identify which of those is a significant risk of becoming violent. It’s very, very hard to make that distinction, and I think we need to figure out how better to do that.”

Senator Toomey discussed different pieces of gun control legislation,”I doubt that the House passed legislation can get passed, but I think something constructive could get passed. I mentioned the red flag legislation, there’s bipartisan support for that. I mentioned the lie-and-try legislation, there is bipartisan support for that. And the expanding of the background check system that Senator Manchin and I introduced. That got broader support than anything in the Senate in a very long time. I don’t know whether there’s 60 votes to get it actually passed, and while I discussed it with the President today, he didn’t make a commitment that ‘I will support that particular bill’, I wouldn’t expect him to be all that familiar with every last detail of our bill, but, my point is, the President is open to this conversation, he is open to broader background checks.”

Protesters stood outside The Miller Center upon lawmakers arrival, including the group, “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.” Member Shari Jacobson says the group was there to support Senator Toomey’s proposals, “Senator Toomey has long been an advocate for background checks for all firearm sales, and so we are grateful for that. We’re here to say, ‘keep up the great work and we look forward to hearing from you.'” Other protesters expressed frustration with the crisis at the U.S./Mexico border, mostly with separation of families.

Senator Toomey also talked about some of the changes that took place in Washington this year, including dramatic tax reform, the confirmation of two Supreme Court Justices and dozens of district court judges, and “significant progress in the energy space” that has allowed the development of natural gas and oil.

He says that Pennsylvania went “from being zero in natural gas production to being nip and tuck with Texas as the biggest producers of natural gas in America.” He says “we produce more gas than most countries in the world could ever dream of.”

He also says that his perspective on the economy across the Commonwealth as a whole is that it is “generally strong”.

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