Joe Manchin: The 2nd Amendment is Not My Concealed Carry Permit

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has made no secret of the fact that he’s frustrated with his time in Congress. A recent article at RealClearPolitics reports that the Mountaineer solon and former two-term governor considers the time he’s spent in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body “the most unproductive years of my working life.” Between his failure leading the left’s Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble style charge for gun control in 2013, and now the president of his own party vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline bill (which Manchin strongly supported — how’s that for thanks?) Joe’s had a tough row to hoe . . .

If you’ll excuse my mixed metaphors, these setbacks apparently don’t mean that Sancho Manchin has stopped tilting at the gun control windmill. Lately, the Huffington Post tells us, he’s taken to commenting on matters that are up for consideration back home in West Virginny:

Joe Manchin…is a self-described “law-abiding gun owner, hunter, card-carrying life member of the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment advocate.”

But on Thursday, he said he “strongly” opposes an NRA-backed bill in West Virginia that would nix permit and training requirements for people carrying concealed guns.

“I have always supported a West Virginian’s right to bear arms,” Manchin said in a statement. “Senate Bill 347 would allow a person to carry a concealed gun without a permit or requirement of safety training and that is irresponsible and dangerous to the people of West Virginia.”

The bill passed the state House earlier Thursday, and the state Senate on Wednesday. Still, Manchin said it was a bad idea.

“There is not one West Virginian whose Second Amendment rights will be infringed without this bill,” Manchin said. “In West Virginia, we believe in gun sense, which is common sense, and it only makes common sense for concealed carry applicants to receive proper training. I commend the brave legislators who voted no and represented their constituents who know that this is irresponsible.

I suppose the bill is “irresponsible” or “dangerous” only to the extent that a training requirement is all that stands in the way of violence perpetrated by gun-wielding Mountain Staters. Of course, open carry without a license (and therefore without a training requirement) is already the law of the land in West Virginia. As it is in neighboring Virginia.

Does Senator Manchin think that ‘constitutional’ open carry in both Virginias is irresponsible or dangerous? If so, why isn’t he pushing to outlaw it? If not, how does he make a distinction between the two? Because surely if walking around with a mousegun in an open, but easily missed cellphone-sized holster without training is somehow dangerous and irresponsible, how does covering the gat with a jacket improve things?

Of course, one only needs to head north from West Virginia into the Keystone State to encounter a place where constitutional open carry exists (in all but Philadelphia), and licenses are shall-issue, cost $20, and require absolutely no training whatsoever.

Does Senator Manchin mean to imply that the Keystone State is a more dangerous place to visit than West Virginia? Or are Pennsylvanians somehow more morally and mentally able to cope with the responsibility of carrying a firearm without state-mandated training?

C’mon, Senator. I know you’re frustrated and pining for the days when you were a successful governor rather than a failing U.S. Senator, but these were prepared remarks. Think them through next time.


  1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    He doesn’t like sitting in the US Senate? I’m all choked up.

    He could always resign. Or go play on some railroad tracks.

    Either way, I don’t care. This country wasn’t created to insure that legislative grifters have “fun and rewarding” jobs.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Heck, I’d work in the senate in a heartbeat. Lots of pay for very little work. I’m also frustrated that the Keystone Pipeline got vetoed by Obama. But when it comes to gun bills, I’d thoroughly enjoy voting for Constitutional carry. That’s not really an option in CA.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        I believe you would be a somewhat better Senator than the ones currently “representing” California.

        I would also like to ask for everyone’s vote for Understatement of the Year Award.

    2. avatar William says:

      He is a classic example of voting for his party rather than his constituents.

      I just hope his hippy ass stays in D.C. (or anywhere else for that matter) when his term is up rather than come back to WV, cause we nigher need nor want him here. And for you folks that say both parties are the same, you and people like you are the reason Obama was elected twice, cause Obama is not coming for your guns right?

      1. avatar Wiregrass says:

        Actually he and Rick Santorum have a lot in common when it comes to fleecing the home state to support a cushy DC lifestyle, so in that respect they are pretty much the same.

    3. avatar B says:

      Its cool, with the way their state legislature’s swung, I don’t think West Virginian’s are gonna want him back for 2016 anyways.

  2. avatar the ruester says:

    Lol Sancho was the sober wingman. Man of la Manchin maybe? I think the point is that “no true scotsman” would open carry. And he probably sees the issue as a kind of “bridge to the middle” that he can see-saw on without consequence.

    1. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      Correct. A true Scotsman covers it with a kilt.

  3. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I liked him. I am extremely disappointed. What a waste.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      He’s a Dem. Holding national office. Who knows, he may harbor aspirations to higher office. He can’t be a successful national-office Dem and be all-in for gun rights. I’m not disappointed because I’m not surprised.

  4. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    “In West Virginia, we believe in gun sense newspeak, which is common slavery which is freedom, and it only makes double plus good sense for concealed carry slave applicants to receive indoctrination at the Ministry of Love so that they will be safer by being disarmed for the greater collective security of the state in which to love Big Brother…

    1. avatar JoshtheViking says:

      war is peace
      freedom is slavery
      ignorance is strength

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        …and we have always been at war with eastasia.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Gee, the way Manchin talks, you’d think he was a Democrat or something.

    1. avatar gregory says:

      He and most other republicans are no different than democrats. I am not a republican, I am a conservative. The republicans do not represent conservatives, they are progressives.

      1. avatar juliesa says:

        True, but nevertheless almost all Repubs are better than almost all Dems on gun rights.

        1. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

          Not in NY they’re not.

      2. avatar Accur81 says:

        Want to join the Independent Constitutional Conservative Party with me? So far it’s pretty much just me and a couple of friends.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        2. avatar Timmy! says:

          I wanted to join the Apathy Party, but they turned me down due to my attitude.

        3. avatar B says:

          I’m still a fan of conservatives booting out the Republican old guard plan. Primary every liar, throw their record in their face, and replace them with younger true conservatives sick of their BS. We’re due for another purge of the political machine. Millennial’s are swinging libertarian and the Boomer’s are dying off, we can totally do this.

      3. avatar Nick porter says:

        “Most other republicans”? You do realize Manchin is a democrat right?

      4. avatar William says:

        Really? Then it would not have mattered if the Dems held a majority of house and senate seats when Obama wanted an “assault weapons” ban?

        Saying both parties are the same is a fool’s game they hope you will play.

      5. avatar Another Robert says:

        uhh, Gregory–Manchin IS a Dem, Ralph was being sarcastic.

    2. avatar PPGMD says:

      That is because he IS a democrat.

  6. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    I commend the brave Bolshevik legislators who voted no and represented their gun control constituents ( such as Loonburg) who know that this is irresponsible to the Soviet State..

  7. avatar John Franco says:

    Joe Manchin lost my respect with his nonsense “Universal Background Check” in 2013. Thankfully that was shot down, the best thing for him to do is retire and go away, while he is at it take Feinstein and Chuck Schumer with him!

  8. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    Joe Manchin ought to be frustrated. Hypocrites usually are, but usually don’t admit it.

    “Of course, open carry without a license (and therefore without a training requirement) is already the law of the land in West Virginia. As it is in neighboring Virginia.”

    That is the one that get’s him, He supported open carry without a training requirement and now does not support a concealed carry without one? Democrat = hypocrite. Sorry, for the redundancy.

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Maybe something to suit him better?
    Tar and feathers perhaps?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I’m offended you would do so cruel that to an innocent chicken.

      Besides, tarring him wastes valuable petroleum and risks contaminating the fragile environment…


      1. avatar The Mountain That Rides says:

        Well, we could always do something historically accurate. I’m thinking Gaius Julius Caesar. Sic Semper Tyrannus, and all that.

        1. avatar Drew says:

          You missed it by one day! Can you wait an entire year for the next Ides of March?

  10. avatar SpecialK says:

    It makes sense that Manchin is going in this direction. He made his bed with the failed Manchin-Toomey legislation. He has no prayer of being elected to office ever again. His only hope is to go full Commie and hope for either an appointment from whichever Democrat is elected POTUS next (hopefully not in 2016) or for someone like Bloomberg to hand him a position at a think tank or an anti-gun org.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      He probably bought the lie about 90% wanting background checks.

    2. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      Barry could always make him “Gunther” gun czar.

    3. avatar Karl says:

      He doesn’t need to work ever again. Check out their retirement package.

  11. avatar George says:

    “Senate Bill 347 would allow a person to carry a concealed gun without a permit or requirement of safety training and that is irresponsible and dangerous to the people of West Virginia.”

    Given the experience of Alaska, Vermont and Arizona, does the fine senator have data to support his assertion?

    [Cue the crickets]

    1. avatar Russ in AK says:

      Don’t forget about Wyoming and Oklahoma.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        If I understand correctly, OK requires a permit (unless you are from a state that doesn’t require permits to CC) even to open carry, and WY requires you to be a state resident OR have a permit that they recognize for CC. At least there, OC is as legal as it is in Colorado-outside-of-City-and-Cesspit-of-Denver.

        But neither state is true constitutional carry.

    2. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      “The fine senator”? He should know by now a fine is a tax, as a fee is a tax. After all, his fine became a tax under BarryCare (PPACA).

  12. avatar Mediocrates says:

    It’s really sad when someone elected to the Senate doesn’t understand that those powers not granted to the Federal government are reserved to the People. What a fool West Virginians are…

    1. avatar Tim says:

      You might want to walk that back a bit. Manchin had an ‘A’ rating by the NRA and said all the right words UNTIL December of 2012 (Newtown, just one month after he was elected). At that point he decided he would be the Great Compromiser and bring the pro-gun and anti-gun sides together with the famed Manchin-Toomey bill — for which he was justly raked over the coals.
      He had designs on the possible VP slot in 2016 but the failure of M-T ruined his chances. He knows he’s pretty much unelectable in 2018 as the people of WV now know where he stands. Look for him to make some noise over the next few years, announce that he won’t run for senator again, then retire and, if he thinks people have forgotten his mis-steps and if a Republican is elected the next governor of WV in 2016, he might try and run for that office in 2020. But he won’t win.
      So yes, he fooled the people of WV once—but that doesn’t make them fools. That would require them to re-elect him knowing what they know now…and they won’t.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        WV has something of a tradition of sending ignorant jackasses to DC (and as governor).

        1. avatar Nick porter says:

          Well… If you knew how screwed up politics are in this state you’d understand. The political machines throw out scapegoats for FEC/FBI to grab every cycle and then resume with the corruption.

          Mingo co. Judge arrested for coverup of the sheriff’s OxyContin ring
          Lincoln co. Sheriff arrested (and plead guilty) to election fraud
          Lincoln co commission has a convicted felon working for it because he was a scapegoat once.
          The dead vote regularly, and usually democratic.
          The list goes on and on for years.

        2. avatar jerry says:

          Yes indeed, a rich tradition

        3. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Alas, this rich tradition makes West Virginia not in the least bit unusual. (E.g., how in hell did Governor Moonbeam ever get another elected office…much less the one he was a failure at decades ago?)

        4. avatar Tim says:

          Examples, please.

  13. avatar jsallison says:

    Feh, if we must have one at all the CCW should be an endorsement on my driver’s license.

  14. avatar Tom W. says:

    He’s what RINO’S are to the establishment Republicans.he attempted to walk the fence post with Manchin-Toomey, but towed the line supporting Executive Amnesty and the open letter to Iran.
    I would have hoped the West “by God” Virginia folks would have noticed a couple of years ago, but they didn’t.

  15. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “I have always supported a West Virginian’s right to bear arms,” Manchin said in a statement.

    Demonstrably false. Care to try again, Senator?

  16. avatar stateisevil says:

    From the beginning in the United States legal tradition, the right to bear arms does not apply to concealed carry. This is true even today (Heller, 2008). It only applies to open carry, which is why it is legal without a permit in over 30 states (Every court to consider the issue from the 19th century until today) . Why second amendment groups have not gone this route in places like DC or New Jersey is a mystery.

    Regardless, Joe Manchin is a fool. Criminals will carry concealed before the governor lets this become law. They will continue to carry concealed after it becomes law. All that changes is that law abiding people are not at a disadvantage if they don’t ask for a permission slip to exercise their natural rights.

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      Your “tradition” does not agree with the 2A, and as such is moot.
      Also, your tradition does not mesh with other opinions of the founders, and appears to be fabricated, not researched.

  17. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Awww poor poor Joey didn’t get his way and is crying over it.
    Just resign and fade away already.

  18. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Joe Manchin is a weasel politician who, like Jim Webb, voted for Obamacare when he knew he shouldn’t so this round of self-serving whining doesn’t come as a great surprise to me. As for being a “card carrying life member” of the NRA, that’s good cover if you want to win votes in West Virginia. What he is, however, is a fairly mundane statist who’d rather keep the bureaucracy empowered and extend the state’s control over individuals than ever think of reducing the reach of government. In point of fact, there is plenty of evidence that constitutional carry is perfectly safe. Like requiring mandatory “safety inspections” for your car, the primary purpose of mandatory concealed carry licenses is to support the business interests who offer ccl courses.

    1. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      Anyone with $35 and a pen can become a card carrying member of NRA. There’s a difference between walking the walk & talking the talk. He can’t even talk the talk right.

      If it waddles like a duck, and quacks (me up) like a duck, and defecates like a duck, it must be a duck.

  19. avatar Chase Dean says:

    I’ve learned that Manchin supports the “guns for me, not for thee” mentality. Ahh… well fuck him I will continue not to vote for him.

  20. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    He’s still better than the idiots in Illinois(like Mark Kirk)…

  21. avatar Ing says:

    Hey, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Manchin. You get paid quite well by the federal government to accomplish virtually nothing. Isn’t that the new American Dream?

    1. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      And to think, he could have spent his days on the links with his buddies Barry, Bloomberg, and Soros. Why waste time misrepresenting those you supposedly represent when you exalted yourself to the position of federal Senator. If you don’t like it, resign, I don’t know of too many WVians who would give a darn.

  22. avatar Norm66 says:

    Joe is a fool, no doubt.

    There’s sitll time for TTAG readers to help us out in West Virginia though. Call 1 304 588-2000 and urge the Governor to sign SB347 into law. We have good information that Bloomberg’s minions have been doing it from out of state so no reason gun folks shouldn’t do it too.

    1. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      The number is 304-558-2000, but nice try.

  23. avatar Anonymous says:

    A recent article at RealClearPolitics reports that the Mountaineer solon and former two-term governor considers the time he’s spent in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body “the most unproductive years of my working life.”

    I know – it’s great isn’t it. I, for one, am very glad his work has been largely unproductive and hopes he continues to be unproductive and have his proposals shut down. The less “progress” he makes, the better.

    “There is not one West Virginian whose Second Amendment rights will be infringed without this bill,” Manchin said.

    Because the 2nd amendment says “the right to keep and bear arms, permitted by the government, shall not be infringed.”

    “In West Virginia, we believe in gun sense, which is common sense, and it only makes common sense for concealed carry applicants to receive proper training.

    Apparently not. Apparently in West Virginia they believe in constitutional carry as was passed with overwhelming support. But good job telling West Virginians what they believe in – that is most certainly why Manchin was elected to his position. Also, when has politician “gun sense” ever been “common sense?” Maybe Manchin has been swallowing too much of MDA’s “gun sense?”

    Moms Demand Action: For Gun Sense In America

    According to Manchin – West Virginians believe in “gun sense.”

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Because the 2nd amendment says “the right to keep and bear arms, permitted by the government, shall not be infringed.”

      And you continue to misunderstand. Insider politicians (including, unfortunately, federal judges and scotus justices) are issued with the special secret goggles that lets them read the invisible ink that shows them “, except when we feel like it.” written at the end of the 2A.

    2. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

      Chief say. “person who live in glass Manchin, shouldn’t throw stones.”

  24. avatar dwb says:

    That would be the sound of Manchin’s career ending.

  25. avatar Brandon says:

    I am normally an extreamist when it come to 2A rights, but I do believe that ALL should recieve firearm training, and retraining. In my opinion, it is just as dangerous to have an untrained armed populace as it is to have an unarmed one. OK would be the perfect place to start with a mandatory firearms training program for all citizens over 18 not convicted of a barring crime since all able bodied citizens are considered to make up the militia. We have the right to keep AND bear arms, but we have the obligation to do it responsibly. Part of being responsible is being trained, maintaining the training, and protecting others when pheasable.

    1. avatar 'Liljoe says:

      I have a better idea, teach it in high school to all students, whether they be rural or big city. We teach civics and history in school, this is part of it and should be taught, why limit it to 18 year olds? And I don’t mean teaching just gun safety, I mean teach them marksmanship skills as well. It would normalize guns, get rid of the Hollywood mythos surrounding guns, and it would help our country defend itself if the need arose. We do give drivers ed to 16 year olds, do we not?

    2. avatar JWM says:

      All should recieve training in the safe handling of firearms. But should it be a requirement? I don’t see how it can and still pass the “shall not be infringed” muster.

    3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Utter nonsense.

      First, proper and sufficient training for safe handling of firearms training takes all of five minutes. Second, “shall not be infringed” trumps “mandatory” and “should”. Third, among the several states that require no “mandatory” training in order to receive firearms carry licenses (or that do not license at all), there is no evidence that firearms carriers are untrained, nor is there blood running in the streets from the allegedly untrained firearms carriers.

    4. avatar Anonymous says:

      Part of being responsible is being trained, maintaining the training, and protecting others when feasible.

      That’s fine. But that should be my personal responsibility. The responsibility of each individual. Not the responsibility of the state to impose statist nanny laws forcing anyone and everyone to obtain their “opinion” of what training is. Also, the good comes with the bad. Maybe some will not be permitted the “right” (lol) of carrying because they haven’t completed the state mandated training to the whim of some governmental worker’s opinion (who may or may not know anything about firearms)?

  26. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Senator Manchin, undergo your training and licensing to exercise your first anendment-protected rights, and then maybe we can discuss what is “common sense” for second amendment-protected rights.

  27. avatar Sgt Frank says:

    Democrats are fools running in circles……most Republicans are better but not by much…..then you have the Conservatives who want to get the government out of our lives……these people are few and far in between ….
    obama is an idiot and all his blind followers are just that…..blind lemmings. I am just so sick of the scum that is in control of this wonderful country.

  28. avatar 2brknot2bfree says:

    Senator Manchin says he supports the right to keep & bear arms, but when a fee, and permission is asked, it makes it a privilege. So, what part of the right does he support? The right he wants us to have? What right does he have to tell us how we may, or may not, carry our firearm? I don;t want my right to continue to be a privilege for which I lust pay a fee, and ask someone, “pretty please with whipped cream & a cherry on top?” I’m not a grade schooler. I’m a man, and by God I’ll not ask Manchin, or any other person for my right, nor pay them a fee to OK me for a privilege..

  29. avatar Diamondback says:

    Well IT IS mine!”And I really don’t give shiot what a bunch of oath breaking, black robed, tyrant wannbe,corrupt judges/courts or corrupt politicians believe, think or legislate.

    The founders were quite clear as to what fate should befall USURPERS of the people’s rights, privileges and immunities.

    If only amerikans today were the hardy, brave souls of yesteryear.

  30. avatar George in VA says:

    i hope everyone carrying gets trained. I also hope everyone voting educates themselves on issues/candidates before voting. I know that in either case, not all do. But if we don’t pay a poll tax and take a literacy test to vote, we should not pay a fee and take a test to buy/bear a firearm.

    I’ll send a few bucks to whoever runs against Joe in my neighboring state next cycle !

  31. avatar Ghost21 says:

    Time for Manchin to be voted out of Office…!

  32. avatar RICHARD says:

    He should be looked into to see how much Bloomberg money he took and as far as i’m concerned all campaign and political contributions to an individual should be taxed at about 50% and the money distributed through the fair campaign funds then these corporate thugs might not donate since half their money would go to an opponent

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