Key senators announce deal on background checks for gun buyers

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) (R) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.VA) (L) hold a news conference on background checks for firearms on Capitol Hill in Washington April 10, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) (R) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.VA) (L) hold a news conference on background checks for firearms on Capitol Hill in Washington April 10, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)

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By John Whitesides and Richard Cowan (Reuters) | Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:56am EDT

WASHINGTON - A Democratic and a Republican senator said on Wednesday they had struck a deal to expand background checks for gun buyers, boosting prospects for passage in the Senate of at least some of President Barack Obama's gun-control proposals.

The deal by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania set the stage for a likely Senate debate on the gun-control package starting on Thursday, when the Senate is expected to defeat an attempt by conservative Republicans to block the bill from reaching the floor.

The proposal for expanded background checks appears to be Obama's best hope for meaningful gun-control legislation in the aftermath of the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Lindsey, Lisa Von Ahn and Claudia Parsons)

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