Senate ready to launch gun control debate

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The Senate is ready to begin debating new restrictions on guns, four months after the carnage at a Connecticut elementary school spurred lawmakers to address firearms violence.

Senators were to vote Thursday to reject an attempt by conservatives to block debate. There was little doubt that vote would succeed and senators would begin considering the legislation.

Congress' first roll call on the measure comes a day after two leading conservative senators - Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania - unveiled a compromise to extend federal background checks for firearms sales to gun shows and online transactions. Only noncommercial, personal transactions would be exempted.

The National Rifle Association, along with many Republicans and some moderate Democrats, opposes fresh gun curbs.

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