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Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms

Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Schumer insists Democrats unified after chaotic coronavirus debate MORE (D-W.V.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE has a “golden opportunity” to secure meaningful gun reforms in the wake of two deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

“President Trump has a golden opportunity to start making America safe again by starting with this basic building block of background checks,” Manchin said on CBS's "Face the Nation." 

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“It’s been very encouraging with the dialogue going back and forth,” he added.

With the number of mass shootings in the news, “people are afraid to go out… they’re concerned about this, and we shouldn’t be living in fear in America,” Manchin said.

The West Virginia Democrat and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) co-sponsored a defeated gun control amendment in 2013 that would have required background checks for most gun sales between private parties.

CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Sunday noted comments from House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBiden's COVID, border policies prove he's serious about neither Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat MORE (R-La.), who said on the show last Sunday that existing gun background check measures were sufficient. Scalise himself was severely wounded by a gunman in 2017.

“I respectfully disagree with Steve,” Manchin said, adding that “I’m a law-abiding gun owner, I’ll do the right thing” but that he would never sell a gun through a gun show or the Internet to someone whose history he could not be sure of.

“There’s no promise on any of this right now, but we have good dialogue … it’s very encouraging, [President Trump] wants something to happen,” Manchin added.

Since the shootings, Trump has called for strengthening the background check system, but has also repeatedly blamed the shootings on mental illness, despite groups such as the American Psychological Association stating that blaming mental illness for gun violence is simplistic and inaccurate.