The Independent Firearm Owners Association is throwing its support behind the amendment proposed by West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania’s Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican. The bipartisan amendment expands background checks while adding additional protections to Second Amendment rights.
IFOA President Richard Feldman endorsed the amendment in a statement Sunday, saying it is the “right way” to combat gun violence. The group is “taking this bold step because this bill is the right way to proceed and to demonstrate the resolve of our respective members to stand firm in defense of our Constitutional Rights and the security of our fellow citizens,” Feldman wrote.
Feldman, a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, founded IFOA in hopes of being a more moderate alternative to his former employer.
A large majority Americans want background checks: 87% said they favored expanded background checks, according to the Morning Joe/Marist poll, but Congress has struggled to move a bill forward. Toomey noted on Morning Joe last week that despite the bipartisan agreement he and Manchin had come to, there are still a several “voting hurdles” to get past.
Feldman joined the Morning Joe roundtable with Vice President Joe Biden last week to discuss gun control and agreed then that closing loopholes in background check laws is a necessary change.
“The game changer,” Biden said in the roundtable last week, “is what happened to those beautiful babies up in Sandy Hook.”