Manchin, GOP Senators Reach Background Checks Deal

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate aide and a lobbyist say two senators have struck a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more firearms purchases. The agreement could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb gun violence.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania planned to announce their pact Wednesday.

Gun control advocates consider background checks the most effective of the proposals Congress is considering for reducing gun violence.

The deal would expand the checks to cover all commercial sales, such as at gun shows and online. Private transactions that are not for profit, such as those between relatives, would be exempt.

" If you have a personal transfer, if you want to sell it to your neighbor, fine, no background check needed," Manchin said in an interview with WTAP Wednesday. "If you want to give it or sell it to a family member, no background check needed. If you want to put an advertisement on your church bulletin board that you have a gun for sale, and you want to sell it to someone you know, no background check needed."

"I think that would be perfectly acceptable," said Myron Gregg of Vienna, a long-time gun owner who says he supports the Second Ammendment. "I don't know that background checks is going to solve the problem. But it can help, I guess."

Currently, the system only covers sales through licensed gun dealers.

Manchin said he hopes to have the proposal attached as an amendment to a bill the Senate plans to consider Thursday.

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