Manchin pushes for his gun reform bill in wake of Buffalo mass shooting
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday reiterated his support for legislation aimed at expanding gun background checks while also calling for “mental illness reform” in the wake of the weekend’s mass shooting in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo.
Manchin cited the bipartisan legislation he and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) first brought up years back when pressed by The Hill on Monday about recent calls made by lawmakers for gun reform in the days since the Saturday shooting, which left 10 people dead and three wounded.
“We can’t even get Manchin-Toomey, which didn’t violate anyone’s rights. It just said there should not be a commercial transaction unless there’s a background check,” Manchin said. “It’s the most, I think it’s the most agreed upon, it’s the most accepted in the country and we can’t even get that done.”
“So, I don’t even know what to expect. Are we going to another vote for the sake of taking a vote? Let’s do some mental illness reform. My goodness,” he said, before emphasizing he is “for Manchin-Toomey.”
Manchin is referring to legislation he and Toomey first introduced roughly a decade ago — just months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — that sought to mandate background checks for all gun commercial sales.
His comments come after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on Monday that he would be heading to Buffalo along with President Biden following the shooting. Schumer said he’ll also be visiting the families of the victims and local officials still investigating the attack.
Schumer called the shooting the deadliest in the history of the city, and the “worst mass shooting in America this year.”
Officials have said the shooting was motivated by racist hatred, after the suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was found to have pointed to the so-called great replacement theory in writings ahead of the shooting.
Eleven of the victims were identified as Black in the shooting, while Gendron is white.
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