Senators Unveil Deal on Gun Sales Background Check - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Senators Unveil Deal on Gun Sales Background Check

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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. 

"I don't consider criminal background checks, to be gun control. I think it's just common sense," says Sen. Toomey.

Sen. Manchin adds, "we have an agreement on an amendment to prevent criminals and the mentally ill and insane from getting firearms."

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.

Manchin said that since the slayings of school children and educators in Newtown, Connecticut, both sides in the gun debate must find common ground. Toomey said he considers expanded background checks common sense, not gun control.  

The Senate plans to start debate on gun legislation Thursday, some GOP lawmakers have threatened to filibuster

"I've declared my intention to resist an immediate vote on any new restrictions that would serve primarily to limit the freedoms of law-abiding citizens," says Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R).

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association says expanding background checks will not solve violent crime and keep kids safe in schools.

In a statement, the group said President Obama should be as committed to addressing crime in cities like Chicago as he is to "blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers." 

First lady Michelle Obama is making a deeply personal entrance into the gun debate on the eve of a pivotal vote in Congress.

Mrs. Obama told a conference on youth violence in Chicago on Wednesday that the gun proposals her husband made in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting deserve a vote in Congress. But she says reducing daily gun deaths in places like her hometown also will require a serious and sustained effort by community leaders.

She highlighted the case of a 15-year-old, Hadiya Pendleton, shot to death on the city's South Side shortly after she performed at her husband's inaugural events. Mrs. Obama says she could have been Hadiya, but instead became first lady while the honor student ended up dead from a gunshot wound in the back.  (AP)

Statement from the President on Senate Background Checks Agreement

I applaud Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their leadership on forging a bipartisan agreement around commonsense background checks that will make it harder for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun. 
This is not my bill, and there are aspects of the agreement that I might prefer to be stronger.  But the agreement does represent welcome and significant bipartisan progress. It recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue, and we don't have to agree on everything to know that we've got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence.
Of course, a lot of work remains.  Congress needs to finish the job.  The Senate must overcome obstruction by defeating a threatened filibuster, and allow a vote on this and other commonsense reforms to protect our kids and our communities.  Any bill still has to clear the House.  So I'm going to keep asking the American people to stand up and raise their voices, because these measures deserve a vote – and so do the families and communities they're designed
to protect.

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