TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Senators privately pursue compromise on expanded background checks for gun buyers

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — A cornerstone of President Obama's drive to check gun violence is gathering bipartisan steam as four senators, including two of the National Rifle Association's congressional champions, privately seek compromise on requiring far more firearms purchasers to undergo background checks.

The talks are being held even as Obama's call to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, the two other major pillars of his plan, are hitting rough waters on Capitol Hill. An agreement among the four senators to expand background checks would add significant impetus to that high-profile proposal by getting the endorsement of a group that ranges from one of the Senate's most liberal Democrats to one of its most conservative Republicans.

“We'll get something, I hope. I'm praying for it,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., one of the participants.

Manchin, a moderate Democrat, is an NRA member who aired a 2010 campaign ad in which he shot a hole through Democratic environmental legislation that he pledged to oppose. Also involved is Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., another NRA member with a conservative record but maverick impulses; No. 3 Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York, a liberal; and moderate GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.

Background checks are required only for sales by the nation's 55,000 federally licensed gun dealers, but not for private purchases like those at gun shows. There are few indisputable statistics on how many guns change hands without background checks, but a respected study using 1990s data estimated that 30 percent to 40 percent of gun transactions fit into that category.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Expert: Stress level rises for Americans who forfeit vacation
  2. Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others
  3. Homeland Security orders new screening for Ebola
  4. West Virginia University warns students over riots
  5. Riots shake Keene State College in New Hampshire
  6. GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
  7. Premier Cubism collection shared in N.Y.
  8. Suspect in Va. disappearance charged in rape
  9. Archaeologists sift through Everglades muck for history
  10. W.Va. Supreme Court: Attorney general can’t aid county prosecutors with cases
  11. Ebola watch lists to shrink
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.