During an interview on Face the Nation, Joe Manchin said he had a very good dialogue with President Trump on guns but President Trump has not promised support for any Gun bill yet.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) August 18, 2019
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about gun control. You’ve been trying since back in 2013 to get this bill that would tighten background checks. The bill known as Manchin-Toomey passed. You’ve spoken to the President this time. Will he go out there and twist arms to get Republicans onboard with this bill?
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: Well, when I drafted that bill in 2013 and then Pat came on as my partner and we worked that bill, it was basically around law abiding gun owners. Law abiding gun owners will do the right thing. But when it comes to background checks, if you go to a commercial transaction such as at a gun show, internet or any other where you don’t know the person, common sense or gun sense should tell you you should have a background check. President Trump has a golden opportunity, truly a golden opportunity to make– so start making America safe again. Make America safe again by starting with his basic building block of background checks.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But has the President agreed to go out there and get the Republican caucus to support this bill? There’s no promise it’s going to be voted on anytime soon.
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: Right. Well, let me just say this. It’s been very encouraging with the dialogue going back and forth and all the people meeting and all of the staffs working together, trying to find a pathway forward. I can’t tell you the end result. I can’t tell you what the final product will be, but we’re working in a most common sense procedure of what we can get the votes for to do something that truly starts making America safe again. And we have– we have a responsibility. People are afraid to go out to communities or let their children go to different types of things that would be a gathering of more than a couple of people, and they’re concerned about this. And we shouldn’t be living in fear in America. America should be safe and we can do that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we had the Republican whip from the House Steve Scalise on this program just last week, and he said we have the tools we need. There were background checks already passed, Fix NICS as it’s called, and what you’re proposing, he wasn’t championing. He was basically saying it’s already been done. You just got to implement it better.
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: I just respectfully disagree with Steve. I like him. He’s a good person. We just had disagreements on this and we can do more. I come from a gun culture. I’m a gun owner. No one’s going to take my guns away. I’m going to protect the Second Amendment. I’m a law-abiding gun owner. I’ll do the right thing. But I can tell you if I go to a gun show, if I go on the Internet and somebody wants to buy my gun and I don’t know who they are, I’ve been taught not to sell my gun to a stranger, to someone that has criminal background, someone that’s not mentally stable. These are things that– that we’re going to make those decisions, but when you don’t know somebody, don’t you think you can at least come to that agreement that that makes sense? And there’s so many other good things have been brought to the table. You know the red flag bill that Lindsey Graham and a lot of us are working on makes sense, that if we can identify and get somebody help before they do something– some horrible tragedy should be done. And we have the ability to do these things that really make sense.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But no promise to you personally by President Trump that this is the bill he wants to see passed?
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: There’s no promise on any of this right now. It’s just open. But we have good dialogue.
MARAGRET BRENNAN: Got it.
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: We haven’t had this before. We’re working, we have working groups together.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: And he says he’s very encouraged. He wants something to happen. And I’m saying, President Trump, this is yours, it doesn’t happen unless you stand up and you have a bill that you basically support. And this is your piece of legislation and it should be a gun sense–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: –bill that makes sense to all gun owners.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the only way legislation gets passed is if senators are here in Washington working on it. There are some questions about whether you’re staying or going back to West Virginia to run for governor. Are you going to stay and fight?
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: Well, I’m going to be fighting, that’s for sure. No matter what happens I’m going to be here fighting. That’s for darn sure. But right now–
This is good news. It is clear that behind the scenes President Trump is not just looking for any bill to sign. President Trump seemingly will only sign a bill he views as not infringing on the rights of law-abiding Americans.
We aren’t out of the woods as it pertains to Trump caving on guns but this is a good step forward.
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