Grassley, Harkin speak on gun legislation 'compromise'
The deal would extend background checks to gun shows and online sales.
Two pivotal senators have announced a bipartisan deal that would expand background checks to more gun buyers.
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey announced the agreement, Wednesday morning.
Their deal would extend background checks to gun shows and online sales. But the bill would leave loopholes like transferring guns between family members. And it doesn't ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
"Today's agreement is on common ground, that all of us agree is crucial, to keep guns out of dangerous hands and keep our children safe," said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) W.Va.
"The common ground rests on a simple proposition, and that is criminals and seriously mentally ill shouldn't have guns. I don't know anyone who disagrees with that premise," said Sen. Pat Toomey, (R) Penn.
The background check compromise has Democrats saying Senate debate on gun legislation could start as soon as Thursday. They believe they now have the votes to overcome a GOP filibuster.
But in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Iowa's Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said some of his colleagues won't be swayed.
"For those of us who don't want to compromise anything on the second amendment, it won't make any difference to us," said Grassley.
Iowa's Democratic Senator Tom Harkin had another opinion. In a statement to KTIV, he said he applauds the effort.
"Expanding background checks for gun purchasers is the very least we can do in the wake of increased violence and senseless death," said Harkin.
The senator did have concerns though. He said, "The devil is in the details. As those details are learned in the coming days, I may have more to say."
Experts say any gun control legislation getting through the Senate would face an up hill battle in the Republican controlled House. Leadership there says they're watching and waiting.
"It's one thing for two members coming to some agreement. It doesn't substitute the will for the other 98 members, so we'll wait and see what the Senate does," said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.
The National Rifle Association released a statement about the compromise saying better background checks, "Won't prevent the next shooting."
"We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone."
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