Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a lifetime NRA member with an “A” rating from the organisation, went after the NRA on the Senate floor Wednesday for what he called a campaign of “misinformation” about
background check legislation set to come to a vote later in the day.Manchin went so far as to use a picture of a member of al Qaeda to make the case for expanded background checks, saying “even he” could pass a check under current gun laws.
Manchin was referring to a 2011 statement from American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn that urges supporters of the terrorist group to exploit weak U.S. gun laws to arm themselves.
“Our bill will prevent this guy,” he said, pointing at Gadahn, from getting guns.
Manchin chastised the NRA for the charge that his amendment could lead to the creation of national gun registry. Manchin’s legislation, co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, specifically prohibits the creation of such a registry and imposes strict penalties for anyone that tries to create one.
“Anybody that can read knows that’s not being factual,” Manchin said. “This bill protects honest, gun-loving citizens,” Manchin said.
Manchin went on to quote NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in 1999, who said he could support expanded background checks then. He has since flipped positions, and the NRA has publicly opposed the measure.
“I remember when the NRA used to feel a lot differently about background checks, and it wasn’t that long ago,” he said.
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