Sen. Manchin: Background Checks More Likely Under Trump, Than Obama

Sen. Joe Manchin. (Photo: Washington Post)

Sen. Joe Manchin said last week that universal background check legislation has a better chance of passing under President Donald Trump than it did under President Barack Obama, CNN reports.

Manchin argued that Trump has more leverage with the gun community than Obama did because gun owners believed that Obama’s efforts to restrict gun ownership were a slippery slope to full-on confiscation whereas with Trump that wouldn’t be the case.

“There’s no one who believes he’s [Trump] going to take their guns away,” Manchin said.  The Democratic senator from West Virginia went on to say that Trump could sell the bill to the public as a means to keep criminals and terrorists from getting guns.  “He would be the person that could help us with that,” he said.

“There’s a reason that certain people shouldn’t be able to have access to guns. Every law-abiding gun owner understands that,” Manchin added. “They read our bill and saw we had a good piece of legislation, but no one had the fortitude to do it. And he could do it.”

Manchin penned his background check bill with fellow Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).  It would have criminalized private transfers, e.g. sales made between citizens at gun shows or over the internet.

The bill stalled in the Senate in 2013, failing to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican-led filibuster.  It was one of several gun control measures voted on in the wake of the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Manchin seems optimistic that background check legislation will pop back up for another go around over the course of the next few years.  Though, he once again said that Trump is the man to make that happen.

“Donald Trump’s the only person that can do that right now,” said Manchin.

This is not the first time Manchin has discussed bringing back his background check bill within the context of the Trump Administration.  A report by The New York Times Magazine claimed that Manchin envisioned a “complete opportunity” for new gun safety legislation with Team Trump.

See Also: Sen. Manchin and Trump Working Together on Gun Control Bill?

The obvious question is whether this is Manchin just blowing smoke in the hopes of ginning up some action or if there really is an ongoing dialogue between the two camps about the issue.

My inclination is that Manchin is throwing this out there as a bargaining chip for something else.  Maybe Trump signs a background check bill and the Dems give up something in return.  This is purely hypothetical, but how would you feel about trading universal background checks for non-NFA suppressor legislation (Hearing Protection Act)?

They say, “A fair deal leaves both sides unhappy.”  Using that as the rubric for judging a transaction, yeah, universal background checks in exchange for HPA would be a “fair deal.”

What are your thoughts about Manchin’s comments on Trump and his background check bill?  

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Jerry kasha April 28, 2017, 11:06 pm

    Joe is just blowing smoke, just like schmuck schemer .!!!

  • TOM April 28, 2017, 10:56 pm

    ???? Are you out of your mind!!!! Typical, give up something when there is no need! The anti’s haven’t got a chance to pass anything & here you are intimating that they could make a deal.

    NO WAY, no deals. They have pushed their agenda down our throats for too long!

    • Palerider April 30, 2017, 9:56 pm


  • Patrick McWilliams April 28, 2017, 4:36 pm

    When the left proposes something like universal background checks, ask if they would trade in exchange: complete repeal of NFA, allow transfers between states, overturn all state magazine bans and infringements, bring New York, New Jersey, California, etc laws in line with those of Kansas or Arizona. Would be interesting to get their reaction.

    • Tom Hart May 3, 2017, 11:53 am

      Patric McWilliams comments are spot on!
      The demoRATS don’t want to negotiate and Manchin is NOT a friend of 2A supporters, either is Pat Tomey in PA. He would sell out his own wife for a $.

  • Matt April 28, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Are you f***ing nuts!? Are you suggesting that we have to give up basic rights and freedoms in order to get what should be a non issue anyway? Your ancestors that died for these same freedoms would be turning in thier graves if they knew you thought it was fair to just hand it over to get something else…. What a shame that you would even consider this.

    • Palerider April 30, 2017, 9:58 pm


  • CW3RDL April 28, 2017, 12:39 pm

    I don’t mind my background being checked. It’s the eternal maintenance of the ATF Form 4473 with home address, gun serial number, D.L. number, (SSN), etc. ATF demands that they be maintained forever and if the owner closes shop, he’s to send them to the “government. That’s registration of the citizen and his property. That’s what bothers most about universal background checks…and the fact that outlaws still won’ submit to background checks. They get guns through theft and from other criminals.

  • Greg April 28, 2017, 12:03 pm

    As gun owners we need to make non-owners aware that “universal background checks” like many other “common sense” gun regulations are simply NOT what they seem. They are “click bait” or “bait and switch”. There is no possible way to enforce a “universal background check” system without a full registration of all owners and weapons. I live in a state with “universal background checks” (for now at least) and the Sheriff’s association is suing the state in an attempt to repeal the law. The state congress would not even hear testimony from dozens of uniformed county Sheriffs during the lawmaking process in 2013.
    What to tell your friends:
    What if you sold your friend a gun AFTER the law has passed, but without a full registration scheme (which most people who watch TV think already exists). Who is going to turn you in? if you ARE turned in and the local police ask where/when you sold this firearm, or where and when they purchased this firearm wouldn’t you both say it happened before the law changed? There is no requirement to keep records on a private sale in most states, so the burden of proof is on the local law enforcement, which means unless they have video evidence of an illegal private transaction, they have virtually nothing. In a few years, they will use THIS EXACT ARGUMENT to follow up the “universal background check laws” with “universal registration laws” saying the background check is unenforceable without the registration, and since they already have the first law, they need to pass the second. It’s been planned out for years, they can’t take them all at once or go door to door, but they can make your assets worthless (like banning mags over 10 rounds but grandfathering existing ones). Making an asset worthless will eventually eliminate them. So as long as they keep passing more and more laws, eventually they will slowly confiscate everything.
    My mags have been confiscated, but I still physically have them for now. According to Colorado law, I am not allowed to sell, transfer, or acquire magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. So the 20rd Pmags I own are worth $0. i can’t sell them on gunbroker or gunsamerica or armslist, or anywhere else legally. even if I plan to ship them out of the state, there is no provision for that in the law. So they are mine until I die, and when i die, they cannot be transferred to my heirs, so the government would be taking them (like they do in New York) If this law is somehow enforced, in 50-75 years, while they didn’t have to go door to door, there will be no more magazines in circulation in Colorado (there are a couple small loopholes I will not go into here) Expanding this scenario to the weapons themselves is going to be pretty simple. They don’t need to confiscate, just ban the transfer or sale and your asset is now worthless. Could you imagine the government banning the sale of used cars? This would force everyone to keep their car forever and only purchase whatever new (electric, hybrid,etc) car is being offered by manufacturers. Those new cars will all come with OBD3 or OBD4 which allows remote control of the vehicle (not fiction) so that police can shut down your car during a chase or shut down everyone’s cars in an emergency if they choose.
    OK, I got off topic, but my main point is for people to look at the LONG TERM picture. The universal background check of today is 100% going to be followed by a full registration scheme tomorrow, which is followed by confiscation by attrition. Bet the house on it.

  • Leighton Cavendish April 28, 2017, 11:32 am

    I would be OK with so-called universal background checks with a few conditions.
    The first would be elimination of the NFA…let people legally buy/use whatever they wish to. They could still require fingerprints and a photo…but Silencerco has a kiosk set-up that can do that.
    Next would be to allow individuals to do the checks themselves for a small fee…say $5 per check…so you don’t have to go to an FFL every time and get charged $20+.
    Additionally…set severe penalties for those using breaking the laws…both monetary and jail time.
    Maybe get some language in place to guarantee gun rights in all states.Less infringement.
    Make absolutely sure it is known that the right is a PERSONAL right…as are all the others in the Constitution.
    With great rights come great responsibilities. People need to start accepting personal responsibility for their actions again.

  • rt66paul April 28, 2017, 10:51 am

    The main reason for this is to get a name with every gun, not keep guns out of bad hands. If it were to keep guns out of bad hands, anyone who has bought a new gun before should not have to go through the program. Selling a used gun private party is a nightmare when you have to get a third party involved. This kills gun collecting. This is the first run at people making hobby income. The government wants to tax all sales and keep track of people involved in what is a cash business, Antiques, collectables, coins and stamps, not to mention guns and knives are largely a cash business. People enjoy collecting something. Taxing someone every time he wanted to swap watches, knives, sports memorabila, whatever, just hurts the whole bit about hobbies.
    Yes, certain people might make a cash living out of it – good for them. They may have a collection that helps them suppliment social security. Expecting people to not horsetrade or pay for the priviledge will just drive it underground.

    Maybe will will soon see a “Barbie” squad, SWAT coming after illegally purchased Barbies from older men and women who think they can make her look marvelous! with hand made accesories! I better hide my marble and tidily-wink collections!

  • chris April 28, 2017, 10:13 am

    Background Checks will not just go away once Trump leaves office. You may feel safe now, but that is a false sense of security. Once again the solution to decreasing gun violence in not “Gun Control” it is “Criminal Control.” Anyone found in possession of a gun during the commission of a crime needs to have a much stiffer felony penalty, and anyone actually using a gun during the commission of a crime needs to have even steeper felony penalties assessed, no slaps on the wrist, no plea bargaining, you either have it and/or use it, or you didn’t. A separate felony count(s)…Period.

  • Michael Keim April 28, 2017, 9:33 am

    This is the same scumbag that defended his daughter when she raised the price of her companies epipen to astronomical levels. Another pig politician.

  • Bob April 28, 2017, 9:11 am

    We already have a “background check ” in my state of Maryland … actually we have to do it “Twice” !!!! Just to buy a gun …..

  • dava g April 28, 2017, 8:43 am

    I may be wrong, but this Universal background check. is in deep with the United Nations having American data, weapons serial numbers and locations collected. We all know that is Obama\’s core beliefs is to give more power to outsde agencies to make Globalist control. You can not spin that bill any other way, than TREASONOUS. The only other way more background checks should get any stronger is if it stays in this country, just like immigration laws they are already on the books. they just need REAL enforcement…

    • deanbob April 28, 2017, 9:11 am

      I agree. If Obama’s admin had done their job of a real background check of Dylan Roof, he would not have been able to complete his purchase of the pistol he used to kill the 9 people in the N Carolina church.

  • STEPHEN STEWART April 28, 2017, 7:48 am


    • davud April 28, 2017, 11:42 am

      agreed. this is the language of those who are more interested in scoring political points with voters on the left than any public safety considerations.

  • Gomer April 28, 2017, 7:25 am

    If tRump wishes to keep his sway with gun owners, he’ll go NOWHERE NEAR this issue! Manchin is hanging on by a thread in WV, so this statement is likely more pandering than anything else. SEND HIM HOME!

    • Paul Reyburn April 28, 2017, 4:38 pm

      Manchin was the best governor we ever had but has been a great disappointment as senator. I will never vote for him again.

  • Bob Redman April 28, 2017, 7:01 am

    I’m liking Manchin less and less.

  • Jay April 28, 2017, 6:45 am

    All you have to do is ask yourself,”Why do all the 500 plus gun laws not work?” Then ask “Why do the Democrats and lefty’s always want more laws on guns?”
    It Damn sure has nothing to do with protecting you! How are you going to protect yourself if you allow the government to take your firearms? They can’t even protect themselves without armed body guards!
    The 2nd amendment is the most Infringed upon human right, even though our forefathers knew that times and weapons would change, they saw it in their own time, but penned the 2nd in such a way as to Impress upon government that “A well regulated militia” and a”The right of the people to keep and bear arms” “Shall Not Be Infringed!” In other words the government can’t touch both the freedom to have a citizens (we the people) militia and for all individuals to be able to keep and bear arms! All the other Bill of Rights are screamed from the mountain tops as individual rights, applicable to all of today’s equipment and inventions, until you get to the second! Now, why do we allow this sacred freedom to be trampled on so badly? Freedoms are not free, if we allow them to just chip away at our freedoms and continue one step at a time take them away, don’t think a day of reckoning isn’t forthcoming!

  • Rob April 28, 2017, 5:54 am

    I’m from WV.. Manchin has shot himself in the foot in this State with his gun control rhetoric when Obama was in power. Barbershop talk is that he’s going to get beat in 2018 due to his liberal standings. WV. likes guns and Manchin is really hurting his chances at re-election by pulling this kind of thing, however, I have a feeling that he’ll wait until after the 2018 elections to push this agenda.

  • Winghunter April 28, 2017, 5:33 am

    Trump is also an anti-rights democrat and has been for 40+ years where any glance at his record proves this without any sane doubt. Like Romney before Trump, a RINO who lies to us about their loyalty to the Constitution in order to get elected fools the gullible into a false sense of mind numbingly blind trust.

    “They say, “A fair deal leaves both sides unhappy.” Wise people say; “There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”-Ayn Rand
    Fortunately, the 2nd Amendment guarantees us that we don’t have to make deals with traitors to incrementally hand over our freedom.

  • Tom April 28, 2017, 5:27 am


  • roger April 28, 2017, 2:44 am

    Manchin is a Democrat and this his opinion only.

  • James M April 28, 2017, 2:07 am

    Treason: crime of betraying ones country. Each and every politician should be held to the same standards and laws the rest of us are. Our 2nd amendment rights are constantly under attack. These politicians and citizens fighting to remove our right to firearms (and any right) are all knowingly and willingly betraying our Constitution. Therefore are committing treason, and are tyrants. I know everyone has already heard this. Our rights and freedoms have been paid for with blood. The founder’s of this country set in place a Constitution, Bill of Rights that protect the individual and limit the government’s​ power. They did this so the citizens held the power. And now we have allowed this government to be the one in control. The one in power. OUR FORE FATHER’S FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY TO BE FREE. When do we tell our kids and grandchildren that WE stood idly by while their rights were taken away? Waiting, wishing our votes would sway our leaders in the right direction. Yet inch by inch it is and has happened.

  • Will Drider April 25, 2017, 11:09 pm

    If anyone of notoriety so much as says the Prez’s hair looks bad today, Trump jumps on social media bashes them and calls the a liar. His routine behavior. Sen Manchin has met with Trump and said (also quoted in the media) that he would work gun violence issues with Trump being receptive/ open minded. Trump and White House Spokesman have never commented on it! No tweet frorm Trump, Why let this anti gun politicians assumptions of presidential support on gun control issues go unchallenged or correct the record? These a warning signs that Trump “the great deal maker” is going to compromise our 2A liberties further.

    I received a Opinion Survey from the RNC today. Its just window dressing for the included $$$$ donation request. One of the questions asked you to prioritize by importance nine listed issues with a “Other_____________ “write in spot to add into the priorities. There were no 2A issues listed but bullshit like “should Persident Trump repeal Former President Obama’s Executive Orders. I wrote in protect the 2A “Shall not be infringed”, Pass National CC Reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act. It is no suprise they scream suppot for gun rights during the election run then forget about us (except our money). Republicans have the Prez, House and Congress and can’t get shit done and I’m worried what we will loose.

  • James M April 25, 2017, 3:53 pm

    Our 2nd amendment rights are not bargaining chips. Loosen one side and tightening another is not progress. This shows their fear. Fear of loosing control. Keep steady and we will see suppressors/silencers removed from atf control. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. At what point do they realize we are not giving up? Or we won’t settle for trades? Hopefully one day American citizens will attain the same rights to firearms that our law enforcement agencies and military have. Then and only then will we be on level ground with this government.

    • Winghunter April 28, 2017, 5:35 am

      Here, here! Well said!

  • SuperG April 25, 2017, 11:30 am

    Educated people still don’t get it. Learning from history is outdated and pointless. We’ve had “gun control” for decades, and it has done nothing. But I did notice that when Ronald Reagan relaxed the mental health laws that used to protect us, “massacres” went up. We don’t need inanimate object control, we need “crazy” control. How come when someone gets run over we blame the driver, but when someone gets shot we blame the gun? Both are inanimate objects and need a person to abuse them.

    • Morgan Tittle April 28, 2017, 6:17 am

      Well said…..

    • ezkl2230 April 28, 2017, 8:15 am

      I have to question how educated they truly are if they cannot comprehend the clear wording of the Second Amendment.

      • Leighton Cavendish April 28, 2017, 11:45 am

        Many libs/lefties can’t get past the first four words…a well regulated militia.
        They incorrectly interpret that as the professional military (National Guard and other armed services)…and regulated as meaning following orders or rules.
        At the time…the militia was all able-bodied male citizens over a certain age. Had nothing to do with military service.
        The well regulated part was more akin to a regulated timepiece…in proper working order…well maintained…in other words well armed and ready for battle.
        In that regard…perhaps we should better train our citizens in the ownership and usage of weapons/arms in case the need arises. Maybe we should have gun safety/familiarization/usage classes in schools. It IS part of out constitution and heritage, after all.

    • davud April 28, 2017, 11:50 am

      that’s because the vast majority of vehicular deaths are accidents, while only a small portion of firearms deaths are accidents. the difference is intent.

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