Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms

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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin fires warning shot on plan to expand Medicare Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Enhanced infrastructure plan is the best way to go MORE (D-W.V.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe 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 ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party 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 ScaliseFifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic leaders racing toward Monday infrastructure vote House GOP to whip against bipartisan infrastructure bill 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.