Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has called the National Rifle Association (NRA) to correct misinformation about the background check amendment he’s co-sponsoring with Pat Toomey (R-PA), which is likely to be filibustered in the Senate on Wednesday.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the senator — who has an A rating from the NRA — cited a statement from the organization that says his amendment would “criminalize the private transfer of firearms by honest citizens.”
“It’s a lie,” host Joe Scarborough said.
“It’s a lie,” Manchin agreed.
The amendment would expand background checks to guns sold at gun shows and online. Private sales would be exempt.
The language of the law also specifically bars any creation of a national registry of gun owners. Despite this, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) used the specter of such a registry to oppose the amendment. Heller joins Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) as swing votes who have come out against cloture, depriving the majority of the 60 votes necessary for an actual vote. A total of six of the 55 senators who caucus as Democrats oppose the amendment.
Machin has said that he expects the amendment to fail but the White House refuses to say it is dead.
Family members of the Newtown massacre will reportedly be in the Senate today to watch the vote.
That the NRA and the legislation’s opponents are inventing things to oppose that aren’t actually in the legislation shows they recognize how popular expanding background checks is with the public. In national polls, 80-90 percent of Americans support closing loopholes in background checks.
Republicans say they will offer an alternative bill, Grassley-Cruz, but only the fact sheet below has been released thus far.