- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, on Sunday said he believes President Trump would sign his bill expanding gun-purchase background checks if it got to Mr. Trump’s desk.

“I really believe he would,” Mr. Manchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mr. Manchin says nobody wants to take people’s guns away, but that there’s room for improvement in the current background check system.

He also said adding Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill to ban so-called assault weapons into the mix would not help the effort.

“And I’ve told Dianne that,” he said.

The bill from Mr. Manchin and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey would expand federal background checks to private sales at gun shows and online that are currently exempt.

Mr. Trump suggested at a meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday that the Toomey-Manchin bill could be the base of a more comprehensive gun bill.

The president then met with the National Rifle Association on Thursday. On Friday, the White House said Mr. Trump didn’t necessarily support the Toomey-Manchin bill, which the NRA opposed in 2013, but that he did support a more modest bipartisan measure to improve the background check system.

At the meeting with lawmakers, Mr. Trump chided senators for being afraid of the NRA and said people wouldn’t have to worry about that with him.

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