Joe Manchin ‘encouraged’ by Capitol Hill gun control talks: ‘We shouldn’t be living in fear’

Sunday, August 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Tom Howell Jr.
The Washington Times
Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sen. Joe Manchin III on Sunday said President Trump hasn’t pledged support for his bill to expand background checks — or for any other gun measures — though he is “encouraged” by talks on Capitol Hill in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“We haven’t had this before,” the West Virginia Democrat said of the dialogue.

Speaking to CBS’s Face the Nation, Mr. Manchin said he’s hoping to overcome GOP opposition to his bill, co-written with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, that would expand the number of gun sales subject to background checks.

He also hailed Sen. Lindsey Graham’s work on so-called “red flag” legislation that would encourage states and localities to have a process to temporarily take guns from the hands of dangerous individuals.

“We have the ability to do these things that really make sense,” Mr. Manchin said.

It’s unclear which measures will win Mr. Trump’s support. Segments of his base are wary of gun-control measures, and he’s said there is no political appetite for a ban on so-called assault weapons.

The president expressed an interest in expanded background checks after the early August shootings in El Paso and Dayton, though of late he’s placed an emphasis on making sure mentally ill people are not armed.

Mr. Manchin appealed to the president’s eagerness to break ground where past leaders failed.

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