Jun 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Manchin is open to "looking at" assault weapons ban

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., attends the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told CNN on Monday that he would support raising the age to 21 for gun purchases and "wouldn't have a problem on looking at" a ban on AR-15 style weapons.

Why it matters: Manchin, viewed as the most conservative Democrat in the Senate and from a state largely supportive of gun rights, is a member of a bipartisan group of senators working to strike a deal on gun control following a string of horrific mass shootings in recent weeks.

  • Manchin has been involved in previous gun control efforts, including a bipartisan background check bill in 2013 that failed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The big picture: Manchin told CNN that he could support a ban on assault weapons, a move supported by the White House and Democratic leaders, depending on "how they would approach it."

  • "I'm open to anything that makes gun sense," he said.
  • Manchin also said he has never personally "had a need for that type of a high-capacity automatic weapon. ... I like to shoot, I like to go out and hunt. I like to go out sports shooting," he noted. "I do all of that. But I've never felt I needed something of that magnitude."

President Biden called on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban, which was passed in 1994 and expired in 2004 under President George W. Bush.

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