The Washington Times - April 18, 2013, 07:39AM

Sen. Joe Manchin III struck an optimistic tone on Thursday despite the defeat of a bitterly fought measure that would expand background checks on certain gun sales.

“This was a bill that was crafted by many people,” Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It was a balanced bill. … This was not President Obama’s bill.”

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The background check amendment, sponsored by Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, and, Sen. Patrick Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, would have expanded instant checks to all Internet and gun show sales, but would have exempted in-person private sales. Law requires all sales by federally licensed dealers to undergo checks, regardless of how they are made.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


President Obama angrily decried senators who opposed the measure on Wednesday in a 54-46 vote that fell short of the 60 vote needed for approval under the rules of debate.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


Mr. Manchin said opponents spread many untruths about his bill, including that it would set up a gun registry and disrupt certain types of sales among family members.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


“If you’ve got to sell a gun on the Internet to your cousin, than you need to check your family relationship,” he told the program.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


Mr. Manchin said the fight over the measure is not over, despite disgust among gun control advocates with the slate of Republicans and four Democratic senators who voted against the measure.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


“If they want to blame someone, blame me,” he said, noting he tried to protect the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control



SEE RELATED: Senate shoots down background checks for guns, angers Obama


“Joe, we’re going to win this thing, these are good people. Heidi Heitkamp is my friend,” he added, referring to the North Dakota Democrat who voted against the measure.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


The vote was the first major showdown since the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 schoolchildren and six faculty dead. The tragedy re-energized what had been a slumbering gun control movement.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control