By Jonathan Easley - 05/07/13 11:56 AM EDT
The West Virginia Democrat said the group was trying to scare gun owners and said the slippery slope argument the gun lobby pushed was disingenuous.
“I’m frustrated with any organization that basically is saying things – and what they’re doing is they’re rattling the cage, if you will, saying, well if [Congress does] this they’re going to do this. It’s a first step,” Manchin said on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday.
Manchin said that the background checks bill would not lead to more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.
“People are concerned that [Congress] did this, now they’re going to do this, this and this. That’s not going to happen," he said. "This makes gun sense. Common sense, gun sense.”
The NRA held its annual meeting over the weekend in Houston, where newly elected president Jim Porter called attempts to pass new restrictions on gun purchases “an all-out revenge on gun owners.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last month pulled a comprehensive gun control package after the measure to expand background checks failed to get the 60 votes it needed to move forward.
However, Manchin said he is continuing to work behind the scenes to revive the legislation.
“I truly believe the background checks bill is possible,” he said Tuesday. “We’re going to have to make some adjustments to it, find out where the comfort zone is, but what to do really is to be out and educating the law-abiding gun owners like myself, people who might belong to the NRA or other gun organizations that don’t believe this a threat to your Second Amendment.
"This bill not only protects the Second Amendment, it expands the Second Amendment,” added Manchin.
Manchin indicated that some of the changes being considered to the background checks bill are merely cosmetic, and “clarify” language that some lawmakers were uncomfortable with. For instance, the bill does not require background checks for private gun sales, only commercial sales, but some said the bill didn’t go far enough in delineating that distinction.
Manchin on Tuesday argued that the NRA has in the past supported some of the measures in his bill.
“If they just look at the face value of the bill, this bill does things they’ve tried to do for 20 years,” he said. “It treats a law-abiding gun owner like myself, and a lot of my friends in the NRA, the way they should be treated as a law-abiding gun owner.”