U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
In a conference call with representatives of West Virginia’s media Thursday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says law-abiding gun owners in West Virginia support him.
“I have spoken with lots of West Virginia citizens that are in favor of my common sense approach to gun control,” he said. “My proposals meet the test for law-abiding gun owners in West Virginia.”
Manchin’s comments come just one day after his plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons was defeated in the U.S. Senate.
“We had 55 votes for it and 44 against,” Manchin said.
Manchin added that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, cast a "no" vote to secure the ability to bring the measure up again.
“It could be brought back in a few days or it could be a few months, but Senator Reid said clearly that it would be brought back again,” Manchin said.
Manchin’s bipartisan plan with Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania would have expanded background checks to include private sales at gun shows and all Internet sales, while continuing to exempt most sales between family members and friends.
“Unless the sale between friends and family members was some type of commercial listing or online transaction it would remain exempt under this plan,” Manchin said. “There is a lot of false statements and misinformation being put out there about this plan.”
Manchin said the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other groups and individuals were wrong to mislead the public about the proposed legislation.
“Either they can’t read, which we know isn’t the case, or they are intentionally trying to mislead and misrepresent this plan,” he said.
“I’ve included special exceptions for private sales and gifts of guns among relatives and friends,” Manchin explained. “I’ve made sure veterans aren’t forever banned from owning guns just because the VA says they are ill. And I’ve made it clear that background records will not be used to compile a national registry of gun owners. Anybody who tries to create a registry can go to prison for 15 years.
“What I’ve done is to present the Senate with bipartisan legislation that fixes the background check system that is already in place so that gun show sales are treated the same as gun shop sales,” Manchin added. “The idea is to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the violently mentally ill. It’s just using common sense to keep people safe and, possibly, save lives.”
Manchin said to read the proposed legislation and for other information about it and Second Amendement rights, log on to his Web site at www.manchin.senate.gov