Dem, GOP senators reach gun background check deal

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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