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Virginia's Joe Manchin speaks with WUSA9 about gun legislation

6:52 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- He's West Virginia's Joe Manchin, who along with Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey announced a bipartisan compromise on gun legislation.

"I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. I think it's just common sense," said Sen. Toomey. 

Manchin is the Democrat who bragged about his ties to the NRA and blasted President Obama's plan to cut greenhouse gases.

But he's bucking the NRA on background checks.

"If you are worried about your political standing more than doing something and being involved in something, that's not who I am," said Sen. Manchin in an interview with WUSA9. 

The Manchin-Toomey amendment would extend instant background checks to internet gun sales and to private sellers who do business at gun shows. It would keep the records that law enforcement wants and many gun rights groups hate.

Still exempted from background checks? Private sales of guns away from gun shows between gun collectors and family members. Omar Samaha, who lost his sister Reema in the Virginia Tech massacre says that's a big problem for him. He says it doesn't really close the loophole.

"This is a monumental step forward. And I hope people see it for that, but I can understand people who say we didn't go as far as they want to go," said Sen. Manchin.

The first of many votes could come as soon as Thursday... And the NRA is opposed releasing a statement saying no background check would have prevented the tragedy at Newtown.

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