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Sen. Manchin clashes with gun rights group

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pushed back Wednesday at a pro-gun-rights group that accused him of seeking to strip Second Amendment rights, calling the allegations “a bunch of crap.”

"I've been hearing rumors and lies about my position on guns," Manchin said in a video uploaded on his YouTube account. "I want to be clear and tell you, I'm a proud gun owner. Nobody's going to take my guns and I'm sure as hell not going to let them take your guns. 

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“This is a bunch of crap and people talking about things they don't know what they're talking about,” Manchin continued. “The only bill that I have worked on and am working on is one that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people mentally deranged, and that's a fact."

On Wednesday, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) held a press conference in Manchin’s home state alleging he supported a national registry for gun purchasers, which most Republicans consider a deal-breaker in any bill that expands background checks.

“Senator Joe Manchin is beating the drum to herd gun owners into this federal registration system,” said NAGR Vice President Dudley Brown. “Manchin wants to let Washington bureaucrats take away the Second Amendment rights of even more veterans and other Americans without trial if they seek mental health counseling.”

The NAGR said it has launched a multi-media campaign “to expose Manchin’s support for Obama’s gun control package.”

Manchin has been a strong Democratic advocate for Second Amendment rights and has a high rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), but is also leading the effort to work with GOP lawmakers on initiatives to stem gun violence.

Talks on legislation to institute universal background checks on all firearm purchasers has stalled amid concerns from GOP lawmakers that the proposal would lead to a national gun registry.