By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two leading local Democrats say Pennsylvania’s conservative Republican US senator, Pat Toomey, is now receptive to supporting key gun legislation.
Former governor Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter were among about 100 people who gathered outside Toomey’s center city Philadelphia office today (top photo) for a rally in support of stronger gun laws.
Gun control advocates are aware that Toomey, who has a strong gun-rights history, could move the needle on one of President Obama’s priorities: expanded background checks.
“Pat Toomey has great credentials in the conservative community — even with the Tea Party,” Rendell said today, noting that Toomey and Democratic US senator Joe Manchin of West Virgina have an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.
“But they (Toomey and Manchin) understand that no reasonable person can object to universal background checks,” Rendell told KYW Newsradio today. “No reasonable person could want to oppose the illegal trafficking bill, (the absence of) which allows straw purchasers to literally get away with murder.”
The two senators are said to be exchanging draft proposals on what Toomey’s spokesman says will be “an approach that works” on gun legislation.