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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gun-rights group backs expanded background checks

Washington Post: A split developed in the usually united gun-rights lobby Sunday as a well-regarded Second Amendment organization enthusiastically endorsed compromise legislation proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey that would expand background check requirements for gun sales, a position opposed by the powerful National Rifle Association.

“We decided to back it because we believe it is the right thing to do,” said Julianne Versnel, director of operations for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which counts 650,000 members and supporters among its ranks.

In explaining the decision, Versnel cited the value of a strong background check system for most gun sales and provisions that would prohibit establishment of a gun owner registry by the federal government.

Supporters of the Citizens Committee were informed of the endorsement Sunday morning by e-mail, Versnel said. Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced the endorsement publicly on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s huge,” Manchin said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

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