Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) battled Fox News host Rick Folbaum over the bipartisan Senate proposal to expand background checks to firearms purchased at gun shows and online on Friday, feverishly debunking the network’s claims that the measure will lead to a national gun registry or infringe on the constitutional rights of gun owners.
Asking questions that appeared to be lifted directly from the National Rifle Association, Folbaum demanded to know why Manchin and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) were offering an amendment to the Senate’s comprehensive gun safety bill that “punishes law abiding citizens” and coule lead to the establishment of a national database of gun owners. The West Virginia senator pushed back against query, explaining that the measure closes loopholes in the background check system and keeps firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
“Rick, all I would say is please read the bill,” Manchin pleaded and accused opponents of using “scare tactics” and lying to Americans:
Under the Manchin-Toomey measure, individuals who buy firearms at gun shows or online would have to undergo a background check that would be recorded with a federal firearm licensed dealer. Personal transfers would be exempt.
The bill also outlaws a national gun registry in three different places and would charge anyone who builds a national database of gun ownership with a felony and up to 15 years of imprisonment.