Senator Manchin: ‘Use The Weight Of The Government’ For Better Gun Control

File photo of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Dave Martin/AP

During a July 26 appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) acknowledged that alleged Lafayette gunman Joe Russell Houser did not do “anything wrong” in the way he acquired his firearm, yet still posited a need to “use the weight of the government” to bring about better gun control.

This followed Manchin’s claim that he’s not pushing gun control but “gun sense” to shut down “loopholes…in the background checks.” Other gun control proponents and groups–like Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action–have been pushing gun control under the guise of “gun sense” for some time, and they have also made a concerted effort to do so as a way of ending various so-called “loopholes.”

For example, Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts is currently talking about the “online gun sale loophole,” in addition to a “gun show loophole, “the “background check loophole,” and the “Charleston Loophole.” So this provides some context for the gun control angle Manchin has now adopted.

While on Face the Nation, Manchin suggested background checks are not being done correctly. That states are not sharing all the information they could share with the FBI and that “the weight of the government” must be brought to bear on these states for better gun control compliance.

But Manchin admitted that any plans to use the government’s “weight” in this way lack one important factor–support.

Manchin said, “Right now, I need Republican help. I need my friends on the Republican side of the aisle to help us with the most reasonable, sensible path forward.” But apart from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Republicans have shown no interest in putting their names on the dotted line to help Manchin pass more gun control. After all, it was less than a year ago that they watched mid-term election voters run gun control proponents out of office and replace them with pro-Second Amendment candidates.

Manchin went on to talk about making sure “that the courts are doing their job” regarding gun control.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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