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Sen. Toomey Offers Measure To Expand Background Checks on Gun Sales

By David Madden

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — A compromise brokered by US senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) could pave the for expanded background checks on gun purchases in the United States.

But the deal being presented in the US Senate is far from guaranteed.

If approved, Toomey’s measure would expand the scope of background checks on gun purchases to include sales at gun shows and over the Internet.

The proposal would also secure what Toomey (at right in photo) labeled “Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens.”  Private gun sales would not be subject to government scrutiny under the plan.

As for dealing with the mentally ill, Toomey says, “We simply have carrot-and-stick incentives for states to provide more complete information that they have about dangerously mentally ill people.”

Toomey says he is ”cautiously optimistic” about its chances of overall passage in the Senate, although he hasn’t polled his colleagues on it.

But first, he admits, will come the effort to overcome a threatened Republican filibuster, and he believes he has the 60 votes to do that.

Meanwhile, Toomey concedes this compromise bill will probably cause problems for him with conservatives and the NRA.

“I don’t think trying to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals is gun control. I think it’s common sense, and I don’t think that this is in any way a change in my conservative record, my conservative views.”

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