PA U.S. Senator Pat Toomey part of deal on background checks

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 10, 2013 12:05 PM
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(Washington) -- Pennsylvania's junior U.S. senator is one of two pivotal senators, who have announced a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. The agreement could build support for President Obama's drive to curb firearms violence.

Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia say their agreement would help keep firearms from criminals and the mentally ill.

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.

“Pennsylvania has a long, bipartisan tradition of supporting gun rights. I am a proud part of that tradition. I am a gun owner. I revere the rights enshrined in our Second Amendment. My record shows this," Toomey said. "Criminal background checks are just common sense. If you pass a criminal background check, you can buy a gun. It’s the people who fail a criminal or mental health background check that we don’t want having guns. That can be done without infringing on law-abiding people’s gun rights. And we ought to do it.”

Manchin says since the murders of school children and educators in Newtown, Connecticut, both sides in the gun debate must find common ground. 

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