Bipartisan Gun Control Bill Picking Up Support in Senate

Image: Bipartisan Gun Control Bill Picking Up Support in Senate U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., authors of a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers.

Monday, 15 Apr 2013 01:34 PM

By Lisa Barron

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The upcoming Senate vote on expanding background checks to all commercial gun sales is expected to be tight, but it is moving closer to gaining the support of the 60 senators needed for passage, The Hill reported Monday.

The bipartisan legislation, crafted by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is staunchly opposed by the National Rifle Association, but other gun-rights groups have come out in support, and more GOP senators have said they will back it.

Joining Toomey, GOP Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona have announced publicly they will vote in favor of the measure. At least five Republicans are needed to ensure passage, depending on how well Democrats hold their caucus together on the issue.

A dozen GOP senators last week voted for a motion to debate the gun-control bill despite threats of a filibuster. A few — including Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Dean Heller of Nevada — are considered possible crossovers.

Still, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” program that not all the Republicans who voted to open debate on gun control will end up supporting Manchin-Toomey. It will be a “tough fight,” he said, to reach the necessary 60 votes.

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