Dem, GOP senators work on background check deal

ALAN FRAM
FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2013, file photo faces of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims are seen behind Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D– Calif., as she speaks about the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 during the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress returns Monday, April 8, 2013, from a two-week spring recess with gun control and immigration high on the Senate's agenda. Senators could start debating Democratic-written gun legislation before week's end. But leaders also might decide to give negotiators more time to seek a deal on expanding background checks for firearms buyers.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2013, file photo faces of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims are seen behind Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D– Calif., as she speaks about the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 during the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress returns Monday, April 8, 2013, from a two-week spring recess with gun control and immigration high on the Senate's agenda. Senators could start debating Democratic-written gun legislation before week's end. But leaders also might decide to give negotiators more time to seek a deal on expanding background checks for firearms buyers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate aides say a Democratic and a Republican senator are working on a compromise expanding required federal background checks to gun shows and to online firearms sales.

If an agreement could be completed, it could represent a significant breakthrough in the effort by President Barack Obama and his allies to restrict guns in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 first-graders and staff last December.

The aides said the potential deal is being worked on by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Manchin is a moderate with an A rating from the National Rifle Association, while Toomey has solid conservative credentials.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose private negotiations.