U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) unveiled their long talked about behind-the-scenes amendment to gun control legislation, which would extend the background checks now required at gun stores to sales of firearms at gun shows and online.

“If you go to a gun show, you’ll be treated the same as if you go to a gun store and are subjected to a background check,” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Then if you go online you’ll be subjected the same as you are if you buy a gun online in another state.”

The two said they discussed the proposals with stakeholders in all segments of the debate, claiming the Toomey-Manchin Amendment will be acceptable to all sides in the deeply divided controversy.

“I have spoken with all of my friends in the gun state and gun culture of West Virginia — the people who appreciate and enjoy the rights they have — and I explained in detail what the bill does,” said Manchin. “I think I have the support of the most critical gun advocates in the country.”

The measure would not require a background check on personal firearm transfers and does not require private citizen record-keeping on personal sales.

Toomey said the legislation also included several measures which would strengthen Second Amendment rights.   Under the amendment those who transport a firearm across state lines for hunting or other purposes would not be subject to criminal prosecution if the simple possession of that firearm, in an otherwise legal manner, violates the regulations of the state through which they are travelling.     Both Senators think the amendment’s language also draws the country closer to national reciprocity on concealed carry permits in which all states would recognize a CCP issued by another state.

Manchin said the legislation is common sense and represents action warranted after the tragedy at Newtown.

“Newtown changed everything” he said. “Everybody here wants to make sure we take steps to insure that never happens again.  The goal is to make sure people who shouldn’t have them are not going to have access to the guns through a gun show, Internet sales, or a gun store as we have now.”

Additionally, Manchin said the legislation would open greater dialogue on mental health issues and violent entertainment and consider what impact it has on gun violence in America.

Soon after the Manchin-Toomey news conference, the National Rifle Association issued a statement claiming the amendment is not a solution:

Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s “universal” background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows. The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson. We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone. President Obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers.

Manchin said he has been assured by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) the amendment will be given top priority in the floor debate.

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  • Sherry

    How did so many of you become haters? Your disrespectful name calling is embarrassing to most residents of this state. Also, please remember that most of you are part of the "47%" that the GOP has written off. Inciting people on a simple & easy issue like this is a diversion tactic to keep you from focusing on their agenda to keep the wealthy business interests screwing you from economic perspective. Which is more important, bringing out sourced jobs home from Asia or being slightly inconvenienced when you purchase a gun?

  • Charleston,WV

    Just wanted to let you know that I do appreciate you responses and incite. Also, just for your information, although perceived by you, I am not a fear monger but rather a skeptic of law that as you I and I agree might not accomplish its goal. Anyhow, one of these days I might take you up on that T Horton's Best. Peace be to ya! and God Bless!

  • Luke

    I don't own a firearm, but I have fired with some degree of accuracy everything from BB guns and 45 cal pistols to artillery pieces that shoot projectiles for 20 miles. Like most of the commenters here, Joe hasn't listened to my views on the subject of the Second Amendment and the freedoms it protects from people like him. In fact, Joe doesn't listen to anyone, he constantly begins a sentence with "Like I've always said.." To hear him tell it, there is no worthy idea that didn't originate with him or his family. In person, he is very friendly and gracious. But that doesn't mean I want him telling me how I must live my life.

    Joe is the same person, who brandished a rifle in a widely broadcast television political ad because he thought it would help get him elected. Now he wants to use gun legislation to enhance his national political stature. How is this "use" of firearms acceptable while he and others rail against the harmful effect of video war games?

    It seems to me that the vast majority of Americans remain as wary of the federal government as they were when they insisted that the Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution.

  • Wowbagger

    Interesting article on Ole Joe Manchin in the conservative (not necessarily Republican) National Review Online:


    At one point the article states:

    "Rumors abound that Manchin might not make it that far; he is believed to be unhappy in the Senate, and possibly contemplating a return to West Virginia to run for governor again in 2016."

    To quote the final paragraph:

    "Whether or not Manchin can ultimately help forge a compromise on gun-control legislation, Republicans are confident that his Senate career will be brief and forgettable. “If you ask 100 Senate staffers about their impression of Joe Manchin, 99 of them will probably say ‘he’s tall,’” an aide says of the towering lawmaker. “When he shows up ten years from now as a former senator, nobody will remember he was here.”"

    We need to remember everything about Ole Joe and give him a big welcome when he returns home.

  • Damion45

    This is politics at its worse. It will not be forgotten come election time.

  • thornton

    While this amendment does, as earlier noted, little and deftly avoids the hard work and harder look necessary for the best answers re firearm violence from the evil or the ill, it is clear that the messenger has become the focus rather than the message...WVa 101.
    We should be so proud and our kids, so ashamed.

    • Charleston,WV

      The Agenda-Pimper is back: That is your conjecture Mr. Thornton to say the least. If you have been following West Virginia current events you would know that there are existing laws that prohibit felons or the mentally ill from purchasing firearms. Eric Maynard is a perfect example of the current system failing, albeit which was more than likely a human error with the health care professionals not reporting this individual to the FBI database of the mentally ill who aren't supposed to own a firearm. This so-called amendment would not have prevented Mr. Maynard from purchasing a weapon. The one accomplishment of this law is to basically infringe upon our right to purchase and bear arms. WAKE UP!

      • thornton

        If you had read w/o blinders what I posted, CWv, then you would find that I acknowledged the ineffectual nature of the amendment toward any guarantee of averting gun violence....especially, when the check system fails at any point from the human element involved.

        The amendment, again, is not onerous in the least and may, if all goes according to Hoyle, address some travel issues with a scattergun, should I choose to hit the Superslab to better birdhunting than is found in this area where National Forests are left to molder into old age.

        Having bought firearms at a gun show and beyond, any additional check from a non-FFL holder aka Fluharty, for instance, is small taters in my day.
        As it would be in anyone's day that has nothing to fear.
        Fret not, worried soul.

        But you will fret, as folks like you wear fear as a badge and seek to suck others into your paranoid thinking re the guvmint and gun confiscation/registration.
        Folks like you are that are awake yet walk in a stupor of agenda, fear and fear-mongering give gun owners a bad rep.
        If it weren't for that...your comments would be so much easier to ignore.

        Oh, try a mug of Tim Hortons best....can't hurt.
        I know...Canadian...but buck up and give 'er a go..

        • Charleston,WV

          If I may, I can read the direct and indirect from your comments. There's no fear of retribution from Sandy Hook as I know most common sense, law abiding folks have little to fear from a background check. But my question to you sir is how you know that other binding legislation within the amendment will not infringe in one's 2nd amendment? Do you have direct knowledge? My repeated question to is why pass legislation with regards to a the universal background check when it serves no purpose? You continue to classify this as fear mongering, which is beyond me , but rather a simple question. I personally feel that there are enough laws within the current state and federal statutes, but we fail to enforce them. Attitude reflects Leadership, therefore no enforcement of the law will equate to people breaking the law. Just my meager two cents.

          • thornton

            No direct knowledge, no.

            No fear either....of this proposed amendment, of Unc coming to my house to take my firearms or of the 2nd being reduced to a fuzzy memory.

            While I expect, if the amendment makes it, that there will be continuing examples of the check system failure, I see this as sadly our government in inaction and inefficiency.
            Much the same as laws seldom enforced....nothing new either place.
            But, you go so far as to assume the background checks will never work, ever, never even have, I reckon....that they will serve no purpose.
            That, perhaps, speaks loudest about you.
            Fingers crossed, the increased background checks will work....once would be enough for me.
            Add in what other positives appear slung in the amendment mix and there you have it.
            I was clear concerning my ideas re the amendment, up and down.

            As to the background check...we have that now. The fear that increasing the record-keeping to encompass a few others at gun shows or wherever will somehow lead to disaster is a far stretch....even funny, if not so sad.
            So, it sounds more as though the proposed increased background check idea is being used by the pro-gun never-give-an-inch extremists as a platform to chirp on wider matters...and that is fear-mongering when spin and smoke are involved.
            Accept that cap is on your head or not....but, the duck is quacking.

            Hopefully, you are thankful for my responses. They have given you a platform to chirp.
            You are welcome.
            I expect those around you may simply walk out of the room shaking their head when you begin yet again speaking of disasters crossing the Front Range or sailing up the Kanawha.
            Unreasoning fear, end-of-days and locusts all get old as a mantra.

  • NorthernWVman

    Do I see a Biden/Manchin or Hilary/Manchin '16 ticket forming????????

  • Wowbagger


    You are just trying to kick us off of the top of the slippery slope for your own national ambitions.

    Why pray tell did Toomey refuse to appear with Schumer and Kirk? I smell a big rat!

  • J.R. Skeen

    The bill is a good start. Now get ough capacity clips out of the hands of the general public and we'll call this a win. By the way, the first four words of the amendment is "A well regulated militia..." What is this if not good regulation? None of the rights in the bill of Rights are absolute.

    • Wowbagger

      The first phrase is merely an example. Can't you read English?

  • David

    You people crack me up!!! Can one of you please explain to me how they are taking your guns? I would really like to know!

  • joey

    Listen to Hoppy tomorow he is going to interview ole joe blow. He will tell us how hard he has worked to get us such a sweet deal.

  • joey

    I believe good ole joe has stepped in it this time. All the people i know, who are gun owners DO NOT want new gun registeration, but all his friends do. I believe his friends are from another state, maybe D.C. MARYLAND area. Go to wdtv website & read article entitled bipartisan deal to solve gun control debate. Read carefully all transactions will be kept on file. If this passes holder's gun registry begins here. Ask the members of the skeet & trap club in fairmont along with other gun owners in marion county if they signed on with ole joe.

  • mike

    How about a recall petition?