Manchin says renewed background check bill unlikely

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democrat co-sponsor of a failed bill to expand background checks to private gun sales, says it’s not going to come back up.

Manchin  along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., led a bipartisan charge after the 2013 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 26 students and faculty to strengthen the nation’s background laws, but came up short.

Last month, with the specter of the Emanuel Church assault looming, both lawmakers made remarks at a Newtown event that the time may be right to restart the legislation.

However, Manchin expressed misgivings on such a move this week.

“That bill’s not going to come back up,” Manchin said Tuesday, “unless Republicans vote for it.”

Although Manchin has not changed his mind on gun control, going on the record in March to encourage fellow Democrat, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to veto a measure on constitutional carry, the lawmaker says his fellow senators are also sticking by their records on background checks, and as such, the votes just aren’t there.

Nonetheless, Manchin says expanding background checks would close a loophole to those seeking guns outside of a licensed dealer.

“It’s pure common gun sense,” he said. “We’re not talking about gun control. We’re talking about, strictly, filling the holes and the gaps that we have in commercial gun transactions, which is at gun shows and the Internet. That’s all. Very simple.”