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Manchin Should Stand with the Second Amendment and with Those Who Put Him in Office

Friday, June 14, 2013

In April, the Senate voted on, and rejected, the Obama Administration's gun control agenda.  The administration was attempting to ban an ever-lengthening list of semi-automatic firearms, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and to expand background check requirements to require government permission for many transfers of firearms among private citizens.

The underlying bill Obama wanted to see pass was S. 649, by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the "universal background checks" provisions of which came from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).  Because Schumer's legislation was too severe to have any chance of passage, Senators Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), along with Schumer, proposed a compromise amendment in the hope of winning additional votes. However, the amendment was riddled with pitfalls for gun owners, and even some potentially pro-gun provisions added to sweeten the pot were flawed. The amendment fell four votes short of the 60 that were required for passage under a rule the Senate adopted to avoid a filibuster. (Click here to see how your senators voted.)

The misguided Manchin-Toomey-Schumer proposal would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution.  As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools.

At a Rose Garden press briefing after the votes, Obama said the defeat of gun control in the Senate was only "Round One," and vowed that "This effort is not over."

Sen. Manchin, working with the Obama Administration and anti-gun New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, also vowed that his efforts weren't over and recently promised that he would reintroduce his re-worked background check bill.

Indeed, our battle is not over. We can promise the president--and Sen. Manchin--that our effort to protect the rights of good Americans to keep and bear arms for self-defense and other legitimate purposes will continue as long as those rights are attacked.

NRA will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats who are committed to protecting our children in schools, prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law, and fixing our broken mental health system.

To view a short video ad asking Sen. Manchin to honor his commitment to the Second Amendment, please click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.