"They came down and started saying things I know they know weren't in there," he said of NRA attacks of the bill.
Manchin said NRA claims that the bill would lead to a national gun registry or to the federal government confiscating guns are a "farce." He said misstatements about the bill cover the gamut from the erroneous to "bald-faced lies."
Opinion polls show overwhelming public support for the expanded background checks, Manchin said.
"Easily, 90 percent of law-abiding gun owners are all right with that," he said.
"The overwhelming majority of people said it's common sense, there's nothing wrong with that," Manchin added.
Manchin conceded that congressional procedures can be frustrating, particularly compared to the state Legislature, where it is much easier to build consensus on issues.
"The system wasn't built to protect the members," he commented.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.