Manchin was elected to the Senate in 2010 with an A-rating from the NRA. But following the December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary school he emerged as a leading gun control opponent in the Senate.
He, along with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), introduced universal background check legislation as a response to Sandy Hook. His legislation failed to pass on April 17, 2013, but Manchin tried to revive it again and again in the years that followed.
For example, in April 2015 Breitbart News noted Manchin appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and defended his post-Sandy Hook gun control push as something that “made sense” in 2013 and something that “makes sense now.”
And as recently as August 2019, Manchin suggested Trump could “Make America Safe Again” by giving Republicans political cover to support gun control.
LocalDVM quoted Manchin saying, “These are things that everybody is looking at, democrats and republicans, but I repeat, if the president wants to make America safe again, he has to be the person standing up giving the republican colleagues the cover and courage to do what’s right.”
Now Newsweek reports the universal background legislation currently being pushed harkens back to the similar gun control push undertaken by Manchin after Sandy Hook. Moreover, the outlet suggests House Whip James Clyburn’s (D-SC) so-called “Charleston Loophole” legislation could fall within Manchin’s wheelhouse as well.
Newsweek said, “Manchin’s record on gun control measures is mixed but there is reason to think he could support the bills being reintroduced in the House.”
Sources: Breitbart: Democrats Need a ‘Yes’ Vote on Gun Control from Joe Manchin