CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Wednesday he's pushing forward on legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers, saying he believes the facts and common sense ultimately will prevail.
"We are not giving up," Manchin said.
Legislation he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., fell six votes short of the 60 needed for passage three weeks ago, although a no vote by Majority Leader Harry Reid was procedural, so that the bill could be reconsidered.
Manchin told Gazette editors Wednesday he is confident that once the bill is tweaked to resolve concerns of some senators, and once false information about the bill is refuted, the bill will pass the Senate.
He said some senators wanted clarification that gun transactions among family members do not require background checks, to clarify procedures for Internet gun sales, and to assure immunity from prosecution for licensed gun dealers who conduct background checks for other vendors at gun shows.
"I'm hoping that's six or seven votes right there," Manchin said of the tweaks to the bill.
"If the facts come out, and you still can't change your mind, you should question why you're there," he said of persuading senators to change their votes in favor of the bill.
A lifelong National Rifle Association member, Manchin said he was taken aback by misinformation the NRA spread about the bill, and by a last-minute decision to "score" the vote, meaning that yes votes would hurt members' NRA ratings.