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Manchin, Capito split on gun control amendments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate voted on four gun control measures Monday evening but none of them received the 60 required votes to advance in Congress.

West Virginia’s representatives, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, voted for two of the measures and against two others.

Capito continued to support the Cornyn Amendment that would alert law enforcement when a person being investigated as a terrorist attempts to purchase a gun. The transaction would be blocked for three days pending further investigation.

Capito also voted for the Grassley Amendment improving the National Instant Background Check System database.

“I strongly believe that terrorists should be prevented from buying guns. This is why I voted to stop terrorists and those who have recently been investigated for potential ties to terrorism from buying guns or explosives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. As we work to strengthen our national security, we must always remember the freedoms we are fighting to protect,” Capito said in a news release.

Manchin explained his two votes in a statement released by his office Monday night.

“I voted in favor of two proposals – one Republican and one Democratic – that would provide law enforcement and intelligence officials with the resources they need to keep suspected terrorists from doing harm to innocent Americans, while also providing important due process remedies to law-abiding Americans who have been unjustly denied their constitutional right,” Manchin said. “The bill does this by providing a person who has been denied a firearm purchase on account of their inclusion on a terrorist watch list the right to a civil court action against the government agency that denied the purchase.”

Manchin was critical of some fellow Democrats for a proposed amendment on universal background checks.

“(The plan) goes well beyond the commonsense measures that the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey criminal and mental background check bill proposed – one that West Virginia gun owners supported and understood,” Manchin said. “This new overreach by national Democrats would prevent an uncle from gifting a hunting rifle to their nephew, like many West Virginia families do; it does nothing to protect the second amendment rights of our Veterans being denied their due process rights today; and it leaves open the possibility of a federal gun registry.”

The votes on the amendments followed a filibuster on the Senate floor last week after the Orlando massacre where 49 people were killed by a lone gunman.

Reports Tuesday morning indicated a small group of senators was working on a possible compromise bill.

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