The Washington Times - May 7, 2013, 08:48AM

Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday that the Senate could agree on a plan to expand background checks on commercial gun sales.

“I truly believe the background check bill is possible to get passed,” Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said during an appearance on CBS This Morning.

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Mr. Manchin and Sen. Patrick Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, pushed a proposal last month — dubbed the Toomey-Manchin amendment — that called for expanding background checks for gun purchasers and carved out exceptions for inter-family transfers.


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The plan failed to muster enough support to pass the Senate, and now Mr. Manchin is planning to try again.


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“We are going to have to make some adjustments to it and find out where the comfort zone is, but what we need to do really is educate the law-abiding gun owners like myself, people that might belong to the NRA or other gun organizations that don’t believe this is a threat to their Second Amendment,” Mr. Manchin said. “This bill, not only protects your Second Amendment, it expands your Second Amendment.”


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The proposal, though, faces an uphill battle — thanks in large part to opposition from the National Rifle Association, which took aim at the idea of expanding background check during its annual rally over the weekend in Houston.


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Jim Porter, the NRA’s new president, called the push for expanded background checks an “all-out revenge on gun owners.”


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Mr. Manchin pushed back Tuesday, saying that opponents of his legislation have been “rattling the cage” by warning that his proposal is the first of many steps aimed at taking away people’s Second Amend Rights.


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Mr. Manchin said that is not the case, and said his proposal delineates between private and commercial sales.
He said the background check would apply to someone who buys a gun at a gun show, gun store or online.


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“We had some people who were concerned that it would infringe on inter-family transfers, but it doesn’t at all,” he said. “We are going to clarify that language and anytime that you transfer to family — whether it is directly or online — it will be basically not subjected to the background check because that is a person transaction with a family member.”


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