by Sam Levin
Last month, we reported that U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, voted against a federal background checks proposal -- with a statement saying, "We must do everything we can to prevent tragedies like those that took place in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson."
Now, a national advocacy group pushing for stricter gun laws has a simple numerical explanation for his role in the gun-control bill's defeat.
It's the "gun-lobby receipt." As Mayors Against Illegal Guns puts it, "How much did it cost to buy his vote?"
See also: - Blunt, No on Gun Control: "We Must Do Everything We Can to Prevent Tragedies" - Senator Blunt Promotes Mental Health Plan, Irritated By Gun Control Questions - Adolphus Busch IV Quits NRA; Slams Gun Rights Group for "Distorted Values"
The national coalition, which includes St. Louis mayor Francis Slay, recently published this so-called receipt, slamming Blunt for voting against a bipartisan bill that would have expanded federal background checks by mandating them for all transactions at gun shows and online.
Blunt had offered a watered-down alternative that would have strengthened existing background-check laws.
Here's the coalition's graphic, explaining contributions and independent expenditures Blunt has received from the gun lobby, totaling, by the group's count, more than $1,608,500.
A representative from Mayors Against Illegal Guns tells Daily RFT that all the numbers come from OpenSecrets.org and offers us this additional breakdown below. She says that there may very well be additional contributions and that this constitutes a "conservative estimate."
Blunt's office did not respond to requests for comment from Daily RFT.
In the meantime, here is a press release his office sent out after his no vote on the background check bill last month:
Senator Blunt Stands Up For Americans' Second Amendment Rights
Blunt Co-Sponsors Republican Alternative To Prevent Tragedies Like Newtown
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today co-sponsored the Republican alternative to the gun bill that was introduced by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa). The provision would have reauthorized and improved the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), increased resources for prosecutions of gun crime, addressed mental illness in the criminal justice system, and strengthened criminal law by including straw purchasing and illegal firearm trafficking statutes.
"We must do everything we can to prevent tragedies like those that took place in Newtown, Aurora, or Tucson, without restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," said Blunt. "I'm disappointed this provision, which offered real solutions to keep Americans safe from senseless acts of violence, was ultimately blocked."
Blunt voted against an amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Joe Manchin (WV).