- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who previously earned A ratings with the National Rifle Association, is criticizing the nonprofit for moving away from promoting gun safety and toward a culture of “big business.”

The West Virginia senator made the comments in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. Still, Mr. Manchin says he’s a proud NRA member.

Recently, the NRA criticized Mr. Manchin for opposing a West Virginia measure to nix permit and training requirements for people carrying concealed guns. The bill passed the Republican-led Legislature, with some Democratic support, but was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, citing public safety concerns and law-enforcement community opposition, The AP reported.

Mr. Manchin clashed with the NRA in 2013 over a failed federal bill to expand background checks following the December 2012 shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

In response, Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said dryly that “the NRA is more popular than Joe Manchin in West Virginia.”

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