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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have been forced this week to consider further retooling their bill for expanded gun background checks, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Tuesday still lacks the 60 votes it needs to overcome a filibuster. The National Rifle Association and senators opposed to the bill continue to argue that it would unfairly burden lawful gun owners while doing nothing to prevent future tragedies like the one in Newtown.
In fact, the bill does an awful lot that should please the pro-gun lobby. Which helps explain why, on Sunday, the gun-rights group Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms endorsed the bill and the “numerous advances for our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms that it contains.” (Even the NRA, consulted during the compromise talks, initially called the bill a “positive development,” as opposed to the stricter gun-control plan initially proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer; the NRA later backtracked, saying the compromise bill would violate the Second Amendment.)
So, how much would the Manchin-Toomey bill actually expand gun rights? Quite a bit, in its current form. While broadening background checks to some degree, the bill also:
10 Reasons the Background Check Bill Means Victory for the NRA