EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

April 15, 2013

Close vote seen on background checks for gun buyers

(Continued)

Manchin urged lawmakers to read the 49-page proposal. He said it should dispel any misconceptions about infringing on the constitutional right to bear arms. “You can imagine for what, the last two or three months, that all you heard is they’re going to take this away from you and that away,” and all of the gun groups are trying to outdo each other, Manchin said Sunday on Fox News Channel. “And the bottom line is when you have a group now — Alan Gottlieb, the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said, ‘We read the bill, we like the bill’ and it protects law-abiding gun owners like myself. And they are supporting it now. That is huge.”

Gottlieb did not respond to a request Sunday to provide more details of the position taken by his group.

The senators’ agreement actually includes language expanding firearms rights by easing some restrictions on transporting guns across state lines, protecting sellers from lawsuits if buyers passed a check but later used a gun in a crime and letting gun dealers conduct business in states where they don’t live.

“If you are a law-abiding gun owner, you’re going to like this bill,” Manchin said.

He acknowledged the vote would be tight. Asked how many votes he thought he had now, Manchin said: “Well, we’re close. We need more.”

The compromise, if successful, would be added to broader gun control legislation to strengthen laws against illegal gun trafficking and to increase slightly school security aid.

Other additions to the legislation also are expected to be debated this week, including a measure that would allow concealed hand gun permits issued by one state to be accepted nationwide as a de facto background check.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in news show interviews that concealed weapons permits should be applied nationally. He also called for more prosecution of people that are trying to buy guns and fail a background check.

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