WASHINGTON (AP) --Two pivotal senators have announced a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. The agreement could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb firearms violence.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania said their agreement would help keep firearms from criminals and the mentally ill.
Gun control advocates consider background checks the most effective of the proposals Congress is considering for reducing gun violence.
The checks would now apply to commercial sales, such as transactions at gun shows and online. The sales would have to be channeled through licensed firearms dealers, who would have to keep records of the transactions.
Currently, the system only covers sales through licensed gun dealers.
Manchin said that since the slayings of school children and educators in Newtown, Conn., both sides in the gun debate must find common ground. Toomey said he considers expanded background checks common sense, not gun control.
In response to the deal, the National Rifle Association released the following statement, saying expanded background checks is not the answer to preventing gun violence:
"Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg's "universal" background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows. The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson. We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone. President Obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers."
Copyright AP Modified, Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A family of four is recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning in Tulsa, EMSA officials confirmed Thursday evening.
With temperatures forecast to drop over the next few hours and days, area shelters are urging homeless people to come indoors.
Construction workers continue to face challenges performing job duties when temperatures drop.
PIXIES frontman BLACK FRANCIS has teamed up with biographer JOSH FRANK to create a new graphic novel, titled THE GOOD INN.