Senators reach deal on background checks for gun purchases

Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. speak to reporters as they walk from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's, D-Nev., office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, after a meeting on gun control. Reid's determination to stage a vote came despite continued inconclusive talks between Manchin, Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., aimed at finding compromise on expanding background checks to more gun purchasers. But Manchin left a meeting in Reid’s office late Tuesday and said he hoped a deal could be completed on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. speak to reporters as they walk from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's, D-Nev., office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, after a meeting on gun control. Reid's determination to stage a vote came despite continued inconclusive talks between Manchin, Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., aimed at finding compromise on expanding background checks to more gun purchasers. But Manchin left a meeting in Reid’s office late Tuesday and said he hoped a deal could be completed on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — A Senate aide and a lobbyist say two senators have struck a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more firearms purchases. The agreement could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb gun violence.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania planned to announce their pact Wednesday.

Gun control advocates consider background checks the most effective of the proposals Congress is considering for reducing gun violence.

The deal would expand the checks to cover all commercial sales, such as at gun shows and online. Private transactions that are not for profit, such as those between relatives, would be exempt.

Currently, the system only covers sales through licensed gun dealers.

The aide and lobbyist spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private talks.

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