Connecticut Senators: No Background Check, No Gun

Washington, D.C. This week, Senate Democrats will reportedly unveil new legislation that would block guns from being sold without background checks. The bill, sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), would close a loophole that allows retailers to sell guns without a background check after 72 hours.

606px-Richard_Blumenthal_Official_PortraitU.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Background check legislation last saw a Senate vote in April 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, when an amendment sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) would have provided a stricter background check process to prevent criminals and those deemed mentally ill from purchasing a gun (you can read the full text of the measure here). The amendment failed to garner the 60 votes required to override a filibuster and was stopped by a vote of 54-46.

  • Senators voting against the 2013 Manchin-Toomey Amendment received, on average, 11 times more money ($25,631) from pro-gun interest groups than senators voting for it ($2,340) between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014. In contrast, campaign contributions from anti-gun groups to Senators in the same period were negligible.
  • Six senators received more than $50,000 from pro-gun interest groups between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014. Of those, only one (Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), also a co-sponsor of the amendment) supported the stricter background check process.

Methodology: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions from PACs and employees of pro-gun interest groups to members of the U.S. Senate from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2014. Contributions and interest group data source:

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation ( There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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