CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wants President Donald Trump to reconsider legislation to strengthen the national background check system for purchasing firearms.
Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey spoke to the president on Monday about the proposal, which would expand background checks to online sales and gun shows.
“This morning, we both separately discussed with President Trump our support for passing our bipartisan legislation to strengthen background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, and terrorists while respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and all Americans,” the senators said in a joint statement.
“The president showed a willingness to work with us on the issue of strengthening background checks.”
Manchin and Toomey introduced the legislation following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The Senate failed to pass the measure, as only 54 lawmakers voted for the bill.
The senators’ newest call follows two mass shootings over the weekend; 22 people have died in connection with the shooting Saturday in El Paso, while nine people died in an early Sunday morning shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
“Mass shootings and violent gun crimes are tragic American problems. It is past time for Congress to take action and the Manchin-Toomey background check legislation represents an opportunity to make actual bipartisan progress to help keep Americans safe,” Manchin and Toomey also said.
Manchin and Toomey took part in a roundtable with Trump and other lawmakers last year following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida; they also urged changes to the national background check system.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., did not issue a similar call when reached by MetroNews, but noted lawmakers should act in prevent future mass shootings.
“The details coming from Texas and Ohio have been horrifying and heartbreaking. There is absolutely no place in America — or anywhere — for this kind of hate, bigotry, and racism,” she said. “Charlie and I are continuing to pray for comfort for all the families affected. There are steps we can take to address this kind of violence, and it’s important that we seriously address these issues — particularly regarding reforms to improve our mental health system, identify threats and help make our communities safer.”