March 6th, 2013
07:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Manchin indicates progress on background check legislation

(CNN) - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, sounded optimistic Wednesday about getting legislation that would expand background checks passed.

"I think we've got a good working group that's been moving very, very favorably forward," he said Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room.

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The senator emphasized that "nobody is going to take anybody's guns away."

"What we're saying is that if you buy a gun, transfer a gun, there should be a criminal and a mental background check," he said.

That would include transactions at gun shows, online sales and individual transfers. Those handing down guns to family members, however, would be exempted.

Gabrielle Giffords, a former congresswoman shot and wounded more than two years ago, urged support for background checks on Wednesday.

She and her husband, Mark Kelly, spoke at a gun control rally in Tucson, Arizona, the same place where an assailant shot her in the head. They have been leading voices in the fight for tougher background checks.

Kelly said his newly formed gun-control organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, is sending a letter to U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Arizona Republicans, urging them to support background-check legislation. McCain suggested last month that such legislation would have success in the Senate.

Manchin said he has been working with Republican Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if Coburn was fully on board, Manchin said he couldn't speak for his fellow senator but added he's "very hopeful" that Coburn will back the bill.

Responding to comments by National Rifle Association executive director Wayne LaPierre - who claimed lawmakers were trying to register peoples' guns - Manchin said LaPierre must have been referring to other legislation.

"We've been working with NRA, and hopefully, they've understood where we're coming from," he said. "What we're doing bans any registry."

While Manchin mentioned there may be other pieces of legislation in the works by different lawmakers, he maintained that the one he's working on appears to be the only bill that has the possibility of bipartisan agreement.

Other proposals to combat gun violence include limiting magazine capacities. But Manchin said that's not in their legislation and they're "not ready to deal with it."

"Our legislation has a commission on mass violence," he said. "Everyone's looking at the guns, and sure, that's the end result of what happens. The bottom line is, how does someone get a gun? How does someone use or not use a gun properly?"

Manchin said it's unlikely that an assault weapons ban would become law.

"That's not going to pass," he said "I do not support that."

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Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Joe Manchin • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. c bear

    I did background checks for my purchases, so I do no big deal from it as long as it has anything to do with registration. ban and mag limits are will do anything but please the misinformed and the anti gun side.

    March 6, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Tightened gun-ban laws needed.

    March 6, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Ind.

    California in the 90's had people register what they call assult rifles then used the registration list to go after them.

    The government is anything but your friend.

    March 6, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. Name

    This is going to make it hard for criminals to get guns legally...if they were allowed to get guns legally...or if they bothered to get guns legally....if they could....which they already cant.

    March 6, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Scare The Pilgrims

    Its all those Sheriffs whose job is not spending their VOTERS money , County Money, on enforcing Federal Law that you have to contend with and Stephen Hallbrook Attorney already closed that door years ago. Ask Phil Donahue, Steve was on his last show along with Sarah Brady, and her Attorney Vs. Stephen Hallbrook and 4 law enforcement officers who sued the U.S. Govt. and at a later date WON their ones going to enforce this passes ??? so what ??? more confusion = Exactly What The News Lives On ,,reporting confusion between Law Enforcement Who Does Not Co-operate with each other to this day= OLD NEWS different day.

    March 6, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. Big Bird

    The NRA has won big time. Stronger background checks – no one really opposes that. No gun ban, no magazine ban, wasted political capital on this by Obama and Dems. NRA – Membership up several hundred thousand and they now have fresh meat to remind the American people about Dems and guns.

    March 6, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Ken

    UNIVERSALBACKGROUND checks will not work and will not do ANYTHING to stop gun violence.
    How will they enforce the universal background checks?
    How will the universal background checks stop criminal from obaining firearms?

    March 6, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  8. cbr

    Sen. Manchin- we are counting on you and your colleagues.

    March 6, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Nicholas Smith

    A Russian Officer told me once that, "...The only reason we didn't attack you was that you can't get two Americans to agree on anything, and you're all heavily armed."

    Gun Background Checks would be acceptable to the anti-gun control folks if you can guarantee the weapon serial number is not included in the Gun Background Checks.

    What is a "Background Check?" A Background Check is a request for information from the gun dealer to the law enforcement agency of the Federal Government (ATF). If the person wanting to buy a gun is cleared the gun dealer is free to sell them the gun.

    The problem for anti-gun control folks is that the background check is tied to the serial number of the gun, and the anti-gun control folks believe the government cannot have that information that they consider a violation of their 2nd Amendment Rights.

    This is worth repeating.
    Make no mistake, background checks are de facto gun registration. The dealer keeps the forms, but the gun serial number is forever tied to the buyer, and in case of invasion, the first thing the enemy would do is get those forms then get the weapons. Just like in the movie "Red Dawn."

    Now, if you doubt this information, call your local gun dealer and ask about it.

    Gun registration is unconstitutional, therefore de facto gun registration background checks are unconstitutional. QED.

    March 6, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. Nicholas Smith

    It makes me sick to see those anti-gun parasites hanging around that poor woman Gabby Giffords, pushing their perverted version of the US Constitution on us.

    March 6, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are many things to be done. I think that a listing of who has what weapons is also a good idea in addition to the background checks. If a weapon is found used for a crime that you were to have, then you are either connected to the crime or held to account in other ways.

    March 6, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |