Landrieu opponents likely to use gun control vote in 2014 campaign
Chris Miller Reporting
Backers of stricter gun control vow they'll keep up the fight, but the U.S. Senate delivered a crushing blow Wednesday. Senators rejected the Obama administration's proposals of an assault weapons ban, a ban on magazines that hold more than ten bullets, and an expansion of criminal background checks.
From Louisiana, Republican Senator David Vitter voted no all three proposals. Democrat Mary Landrieu voted to reject the assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazine ban, but voted yes to the compromise bill to expand criminal background checks for gun purchases.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvia) brokered a compromise proposal that would have required the background checks when people make purchases at gun shows or online. Senator Landrieu said that would have been an extra step forward in efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals or people with dangerous mental illness.
University of Louisiana political science professor Josh Stockley says Republicans will likely try and claim this shows the senior Democrat is out of touch with Louisiana values, but he says Landrieu can make a good case for her vote:
"Senator Landrieu will be able to deflect this with saying 'this was just expanded background checks. We want to make sure that certain individuals like the individual involved in the sandy hook tragedy does not acquire guns,'" Stockley told WWL First News.
However, he expects the senator's opponents will do anything they can to portray her as anti-2nd Amendment.
"To make the argument that she is somehow...anti-gun or that her values are not in line with Louisiana's values," said Stockley.
Landrieu is already making the argument that her vote was a pro-2nd Amendment vote. In a statement, Landrieu said the background check bill would also have expressly forbidden the federal government from creating a national gun owners registry.