Gun control forces push for background checks

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will
include a requirement for expanded background checks for firearms buyers
in a gun control bill the Senate debates next month.

The Nevada Democrat says he hopes that during
Congress' upcoming two-week break, senators will reach compromise on
background check language with bipartisan support.

If not, Reid says in a statement that the Senate
will vote on a stricter measure expanding the checks to virtually all
private gun transactions, with few exceptions.

President Barack Obama and many gun control
advocates consider an expansion of background checks the strongest step
lawmakers could take to reduce firearms violence.

Opponents say the system is easily sidestepped by
criminals and threatens creation of a government file on gun owners –
which is illegal under federal law.

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