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Roberts, Moran vote against expanded background checks in gun sales

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, both Kansas Republicans, voted against gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and other restrictions.

The measure, put together by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, was in response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre and other mass slayings.

The proposal to expand background checks to sales at guns shows and online received a majority of votes in the Senate — 54-46 — but failed Wednesday to get the required 60 votes needed to advance.

Of the bill, Roberts said, "I believe that Senators Toomey and Manchin came to the table with a sincere proposal, however, I have serious concerns with their legislation, including the expansion of the background check system and government intrusion on private firearm transfers.

"A background check can provide a key line of defense against gun violence, but it must be done in a way that does not infringe upon Second Amendment rights."

The National Rifle Association thanked legislators for defeating the background check expansion, saying it would have criminalized transactions between friends — a charge that supporters of the bill said was untrue.

Roberts said he supported an alternative bill that he said would improve the efficiency and accuracy of the background check system.

Moran did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his vote on expanding background checks.

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