WASHINGTON— Two key senators have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, a Senate aide and lobbyist said Wednesday, an agreement that could build support for President Barack Obama’s drive to curb firearms violence in the wake of the elementary school shootings in Connecticut.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., planned to announce their compromise later Wednesday morning. Subjecting more firearms purchases to federal background checks has been the chief goal of Obama and gun control supporters, who promote the system as a way to prevent criminals and other potentially dangerous people from getting the weapons.
Meanwhile, the Senate is ready for an opening vote on restricting guns as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set a roll call for Thursday on starting consideration of the firearms legislation. The background check deal makes it even likelier that Democrats will win enough Republican support to thwart an effort by conservatives and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to block consideration from even starting.
The background check deal would expand the system to cover all commercial sales, such as at gun shows and online. Records of the transactions would have to be kept by licensed gun dealers, the same system used currently.
Private transactions that are not for profit, such as those between relatives, would be exempt from background checks.
Read More at OfficialWire . By Alan Fram.
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