Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Manchin playing with fire on gun legislation

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (Public Domain photo)

I could be wrong, but I believe U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is putting himself in a no-win situation on gun-control legislation.

According to a recent Politico report, Manchin, D-W.Va., is negotiating with conservative Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on the question of background checks for all firearm purchases. If the Politico report is correct, it appears Manchin is trying to persuade Republicans to support background checks for gun-show purchases and private purchases. The National Rifle Association vehemently opposes any such legislation, and therein lies political danger for Manchin.

If he forges a deal acceptable to Republicans (and, by extension, the NRA), he’ll lose any support he ever might have had from the Democratic Party’s left wing. If he brokers a deal that delights Democrats, he’ll almost certainly lose his A rating from the NRA — and in West Virginia, that’s a serious political liability.