WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gun control of any kind isn’t typically a popular stand in West Virginia and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin knows it. Manchin’s joint legislation with Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut drew heaps of criticism on him back home in West Virginia. Now in the wake of the Orlando shooting at the Pulse Nightclub, Manchin is again calling for what he considers “common sense” legislation to protect the American people.
“I don’t want anyone to lose their Second Amendment Rights or any rights,” said Manchin. “But on the other hand, we’ve got people who are absolutely doing unbelievable tragedy and misery on innocent people.”
Manchin was part of the Democrat filibusterer on the Senate floor which stretched nearly 15 hours from Tuesday afternoon until early Wednesday morning. The talk-a-thon finally ended when the Republican leadership agreed to bring legislation to the floor for a vote.
“I’m going to vote for everything that moves us forward to keep us safer,” Manchin said. “I don’t think that John’s (Cornyn) does, but at least it’s still a pathway forward. I think that Diane’s (Feinstein) or a Diane-Susan Collins compromise, if they allow that one to come forward, I think it would do a much, much better job of protecting us against the Orlando shooter or anybody like that.”
During Manchin’s part of Tuesday night’s filibuster he reintroduced the Manchin-Toomey Bill on the Senate Floor.
The bill, entitled the “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act” calls for closing the gunshow/internet sales loophole, increasing the current InstaCheck background check system for gun salesby requiring more information be shared from various state and federal agencies in compiling the checks. The bill also calls for the creation of a National Commission on Mass Violence to intensively study the in-depth causes of such incidents.
Senator Manchin insisted the bill does not infringe on Second Amendment rights, nor would it take away anyone’s guns or ban any type of firearm. Furthermore, Manchin claimed the bill he introduced would not limit the size of ammunition or the capacity of magazines and would not create a national gun registry. He added in fact the bill explicitly prohibits the creation of such a registry.
“There’s not a Democrat or a Republican that wants to allow a terrorist to get a gun. We all agree,” Manchin said. “How much due process and redressing are we going to allow? How can a person get out of a system they may be put in erroneously? How much caution should we take that you had probably cause. I can tell you to get to the level where the FBI came and took a look at you, there’s more than probable cause.”