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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  • Recil

    All Joe wants is the national spotlight. He spoke to all of his WV friends he says, he never spoke to me or any gun owner I know! But then again we are not his friends, rught?

    • JOHN


  • Jason

    What do the travel provisions mean? What are "other purposes"? The Senators "think" that this will lead to CCP reciprocity?

    I might actually trade the gun show checks for national CCP reciprocity. But I smell something fishy with these weasel words.

  • hillbilly

    This will not stop anything like the mass murders it is intended to stop. All it is is a smokescreen to hide the fact that they do not have a clue how to prevent something like this from happening again, but they think it makes them look like they are doing "something" to protect us all... hahaha.

  • CaptainQ

    If MoJo can overcome THIS with the voters of WV and win another term as U.S. Senator, then he's a better 'escape artist' than Harry Houdini. If Joe Manchin can somehow get past THIS with WV voters, he's got to be wearing the same 'Teflon suit' that the late Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller wore.

    He keeps this up and by 2018, both of WV's US Senators could be Republican.

    • Jephre

      If that happens, then that will be by far the only good thing to come of this legislation.

  • MrJ

    Thank you, Senators Manchin and Toomey for exhibiting considerable political courage. You've proven that individuals can be gun enthusiasts and have common sense in the interests of public safety at the same time, regardless of what the almighty gun lobby tells us.

    Who knows whether or not this will help? At least someone has taken a first step in making our children's lives safer.

    • 2XLPatriot

      Instead of tackling the obvious, 800 pound gorilla in the room problem, politicians did what they do best; blow smoke. Mental health laws are severely outdated, the justice system fails us everyday and more and more restrictions are placed on us. How many people who committed violent gun crimes actually purchased their firearm at a gun show? Now, how many got it from some street thug? Do you seriously think that the gangbanger is going to call in a background check on a prospective buyer? These firearms are stolen from legal gun owners, sold on the street and the thief gets probation. Jobama and Looney-Toomey are only out for recognition, period! Adam Lanza STOLE legally purchased guns. Not to mention the mental health system had failed his mother when she applied for a mental hygiene hearing. Stop blaming the guns! Hold people accountable for their actions and punish them accordingly! Common sense can be defined as legal, law abiding gun owners who purchesed their guns legally and haven't went on mass killing sprees. Liberal sense is coddle the wacko's and criminals, give them love and protection while screwing the rest of us and restricting our ability to protect ourselves from these nut jobs!

      • Mac

        The guy in PA who killed 3 people in a church and then shot two state troopers had a legally purchased firearm.

    • Wowbagger

      Wayne LaPierre took a first step in making our children's lives safe in proposing and starting to develop training to facilitate guarding schools.

      Although there are some good parts to this legislation like the provision that prevents Bloomberg and DC from arresting someone transporting a safely stored firearm through town and allowing cross border handgun sales this amendment in itself will do NOTHING to make schools safer.

    • Protechcpa

      You are brain dead.

    • rj

      How does this make kids lives safer??? Criminals and sickos still can get weapons!! They will not go to a gun store.

    • Sherry

      Well said Mr J. A lot of West Virginia do support Senators Manchin & Toomey. In fact, I have new respect for Senator Manchin for doing the right thing.

      • Wowbagger

        Lady you are not speaking for this West Virginian!

    • wv4evah

      Well-stated. Absolutely right.

    • wv4evah

      My comment was a pat on the back to MrJ and Sherry.

      • Sherry

        Thank you. I know many West Virginians who do favor background checks. Who could oppose them? I personally think it is not enough, but it is a start. And I'd you are saying laws are already in place, I take it you haven't witnessed the gun sales at flea games, yard sales, estate sales, etc. I find it scary.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    closing the gunshow loophole is not a bad thing. i just want them to find another band wagon to get on so i can find ammo for my kimber 45. if this shuts them up so be it. just need to read the fine print

  • Jim Dietz

    In reply to Thornton;

    It is NOT the law abiding firearm owner that is the problem and the ONLY people effected by laws are the ones that follow them.

    If a person wants to commit a crime they will find a way to get a firearm.

    All the facts in the world or all the pro gun stories will not change the minds of the liberal left.

    One personal story;

    I was on jury duty last month. A 27 year old male on parole and under a DVP order shot and killed his 18 year old girlfriend and mother of his child.

    Adults were aware of the fact that he had committed Statutory Rape but nothing was done, State employees were aware that he was violating the DVP nothing was done.

    He was using a .45 acp that he wasn't supposed to have and shot her 5 times.

    The system failed not the gun. Not legal owners. In the trial he was not charged with the possession charges that would have totaled 20 yrs.



    Quit punishing us.

    • thornton

      I totally agree that the law-abiding owner is not the problem.
      This was a feel-good proposal by politicos unwilling to address the important issues.

      But that simple background check proposed is pretty soft "punishment."
      Quit assuming the victim role.

      • Charleston,WV

        Thornton: Let me give you another hypothetical situation. Let's say that the new family-loophole enables another massacre of innocent youths, adults, or whomever the act is committed towards. This law will again fall on it's face. What you don't understand is that there is alwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays (and I mean ALWAYS) some bad guy or evil person who will commit this treacherous act of gun violence. He may not run into you (and hopefully doesn't) but will run into someone. This law does nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to stop gun violence. In addition who's to say that one day the good guy won't "flip out" and start gunning down innocent people. Remember Fort Hood? How about the knife massacre that occurred yesterday at Lonestar University in San Antonio? Should we put a universal background on the purchase of knives? Seriously?
        My question to you sir is how can someone with severe mental illness purchase a firearm with our existing laws. If you read the statutes of most states it is already illegal to own or possess a firearm is most states. See: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/justice/possession-of-a-firearm-by-the-mentally-ill.aspx. This law is exactly as you said: "A feel-good proposal" and I'll add "that does NOTHING".

        • thornton

          "This law is exactly as you said: "A feel-good proposal" and I'll add "that does NOTHING"."

          I agree.
          However....I, as a gun owner for 50 years, simply refuse to feel punished, put on and pounded by something as insignificant as this background check amendment.

          The NRA finds fuel and lucre with folks having those three feelings...I choose not to bleat merrily along, as the counterparts on the anti-gun side equally do with the insignificant and ineffectual on their side.

          In our frustration with gun issues, too often we gun owners are allowing our attention to be diverted by the loudest voice or, sadly, the shiniest ball of tinfoil tossed in our path.
          We need to wise up.

          • Charleston,WV

            So you think we should pass a bill that has absolutely NO effect on a the bad guy purchasing a weapon? Where is the wisdom with that legislation? Please explain?

          • thornton

            You could read slower, consider and think w/o agenda-pimping Charleston but, sure I'll explain.

            The "bad" guy, either evil or ill, may be stopped or slowed by a background check that works.
            Maybe not, perhaps likely not but, as I noted, it is political fluff, so what does one expect. Simply, this amendment is not onerous to me or on me as a gun owner in the slightest.
            It could be worse.
            Whining about something as bland as the above amendment implies that you simply enjoy tooting that doomsday horn and court the high-fives.

            Your claimed absolute of "NO effect" smacks more of that pimping than certainty.
            Slow down, think just a bit and try not to allow your agenda against Obama to cloud whatever judgment you possess.
            You might then be taken more seriously.

        • rj

          In agreement with you Charleston. I can still see Manchin campaigning the NRA/hunters vote, with his scope dead set on the bulls eye. Yes! He is a turncoat and hit his true colors. Mark the words, this passes it is just the beginning of more of our freedoms being attacked and the 2nd amendment. They have to start somewhere! Remember the ballot when these deceivers run again. No Joe this doesn't make sense since this will not take guns out of the hands of criminals, just pressure on the law abiding citizens.

    • Teufel

      Agreed quit demonIzeing legal gun owners

  • thornton

    So...how did Toomey get his name listed first on the proposed amendment?

    Nope...won't do much as to tragedy prevention.
    One must be in some database accessible thru the NCIC, et al for any call to work.
    And, honesty only is required on the 4473 question answers.
    Pretty weak background check that will cause few issues but time and, maybe, an excuse for a price increase in any gun show sale.

    If as explained above with some imbedded plusses, any gun owner complaining about this is likely of the mind of the 1" = 1 mile paranoid thinking.
    Much ado about very, very little otherwise and of a practical nature re gun purchases.

    The doomsday folks, the hate MoJoe crowd, the Obama is satan groupies and the government-will-take-our-guns-tomorrow folks though will use this as fodder to rant yet again, likely, while kicking their dog.
    Same old, same old.
    Sadly, kids remain at risk from the actions of the agenda-bearers on both sides of the issue who are currently driving the bus to Stupidville.

  • Jim Dietz

    What is this "Gun Culture"? It make sportsmen sound like cult nuts.

    Thanks Joe! I appreciate the label.

    I am very disappointed in Manchin. I have supported him for years but now, he's gone.

    We need to replace him and Rahall. Neither are representing WV the way they should.

    Yes I know I am going against the establishment. Let the flaming begin.

  • JD R

    If you buy from a gun shop at a gun show you get your background check run. There isn't a gunshow loophole. Manchin needs to go

    • Mac

      If you buy from a shop. There a guys that tour only gun shows for the simple fact that they don't have to do background checks as they don't have a shop.

      • jeremy

        Have u ever been to a gun show? How about made a purchase at one?


    Manchin is a fraud ran on one set of beliefs got elected and has turned his back on everything he campaigned for politicians should be held accountable for the lies they campaign on.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Congratulations Senator Manchin.

    You're doing in DC what you did in WV..... Get your name in the news. This has to rank right up there with the "WV is Open For Business!".

    • Skeptical

      Bingo. This from an article chock full of actual political insight in National Review Online:

      This spring, with Manchin fresh off a convincing reelection victory, his renewed willingness to discuss the issue was enough to produce more favorable headlines, such as “Manchin NRA A-Rating Gives Cover for Gun-Control Dialogue,” even as he was starting to catch political flak back home. “It’s all for the headlines,” notes the conservative aide.

      I HIGHLY recommend this article, "Gunning for the Center," by Andrew Stiles:


  • Shawn

    Jobama Manchin is nothing but a puppet for Reid and Pelosi.

  • Roger

    I just need some of these super smart politicians to explain how any part of the new law is going to prevent the mass murders like the one at Sandy Hook.

    • Chris


      • Mac

        You're right, let's put a cop in every school because cops always get the bad guy. Just ask the Mingo County Sheriff's Department.

        • NorthernWVman

          That is an all time low. You should be ashamed of yourself. You are pathetic!!

    • derek

      I don't care how many laws they pass on gun control it will not stop the mass shootings. The only thing the Obama administration is after is to take all gun's from law abiding citizens. And yet there are over a million babies murdered in this country every year by abortion I just don't get it! As for Joe Manchin he has lost my support so enjoy it Jobama this is your last term.

  • John

    Don't know who Manchin has been talking to in WV, but it isn't the gun owners. This fool needs to go.