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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday defended the bipartisan Senate agreement on gun reform reached over the weekend in the wake of the latest spate of mass shootings, saying none of the measures agreed upon should concern America’s lawful gun owners.
During an appearance on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Manchin said that gun owners in his state also want something done, specifically pointing to their concerns about people with mental health issues owning firearms.
“We have to do something. And gun owners are standing up. You take polls around the country, in my state, too — law-abiding gun owners want something to be done,” Manchin told Tapper. “They don’t want people who should never have a gun,or is mentally incapacitated or not stable to be able to access anything they want.”
Manchin also said that the proposed legislation — which has the backing of 10 Senate Republicans, the minimum needed to overcome a filibuster — is based on “something that’s sensible and reasonable,” citing the principles of prevention and intervention.
“We have got to take what we have got as a positive and work off of this. But this should not — this piece of legislation, as drafted, should not be threatening to any law-abiding citizen in the United States of America, not one. And no law-abiding gun owner should be offended by this,” Machin told Tapper.
“We take no rights away, no privileges away. We don’t basically threaten you’re going to lose anything at all,” he added.
The proposed gun reform package includes funding for school safety resources, expanded background checks for buyers under the age of 21, incentives for states to implement their own red flag laws, penalties for straw purchases of firearms and new protections for victims of domestic violence.
President Biden said in a statement on Sunday he plans to sign the Senate’s gun reform package, adding that “the sooner it comes to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives.”