Background-Check Amendment Fizzles

    FILE - In this April 10, 2013 file photo, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa. arrive for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington to announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. Supporters try to salvage an expansion of background checks, the heart of Congress’ struggling post-Newtown effort to restrict guns. Forty-one senators are potentially ready to oppose the measure _ enough to sink it unless gun control forces figure out a way to attract more votes. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    As support for a background-check deal collapses in the Senate, Harry Reid broke with the National Rifle Association and declared his support for an assault-weapons ban. “We must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence,” the A-rated Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor. Unfortunately for him, the outlook for gun-control legislation looks bleak. A bipartisan amendment on background checks that is a vital ingredient in a passable gun bill appears to lack the necessary votes. Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said on the floor that he knows they’re close, but doesn’t know what the outcome will be.

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