Senators work on deal expanding background checks on gunbuyers

WASHINGTON - Talks between two influential senators have emerged as the most promising route for a bipartisan breakthrough on expanding federal background checks for gun buyers.

Senate aides say one possibility being discussed by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania could expand background checks to gun show sales and online firearms transactions. Though sales between relatives and some other purchases may be excluded, it would expand the current system, which covers only transactions at federally licensed gun dealers.

Aides say the agreement remains a work in progress.

An accord between the two lawmakers could make it easier for gun control advocates to win crucial support from moderate Democrats and GOP senators.

Aides spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

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