Toomey defends expanded background checks

CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey received a warm but restrained welcome at a gathering of Pennsylvania conservatives following his unsuccessful attempt to broker a compromise on expanding background checks for gun buyers.

The Republican was the luncheon speaker Friday at the opening of the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Camp Hill.

Toomey stresses he’s a gun owner whose record has earned him a top rating from the National Rifle Association. He says his goal in developing the compromise with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was to encourage more states to require background checks and make it harder for criminals and mentally ill people to obtain firearms.

He acknowledges many in the audience opposed his proposal, which the Senate rejected Wednesday, and says he considers the issue “resolved for now.”

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