Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has weighed in on legislation that would relieve West Virginians of the need for a permit to carry a concealed firearm. The senator, who previously had earned an “A” rating from the NRA and prominently featured the organization’s endorsement in his campaign spots, teamed with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in 2013 to propose a national expansion of background checks, explaining that “Newtown has changed us all.”

Both the West Virginia House (79-21) and Senate (32-2) have voted to approve SB 347, which would eliminate the need for state residents to obtain a $100 permit and pay for firearms training in order to carry a concealed weapon.