WASHINGTON —Wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly met Tuesday with the two senators sponsoring a compromise on expanding background checks for gun buyers.
The session comes as Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., try figuring out how to push their background check measure through the Senate.
“They’re helping immensely just by being here and talking to our colleagues,” Manchin said after the 15-minute session in his Senate office. “We’re close but we sure need their help.”
Giffords and Kelly, a retired astronaut, have formed a political committee that supports candidates who back gun restrictions. Giffords, a Democratic former congresswoman from Arizona, was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson.
“I think we’ll get there,” Kelly said.
She and Kelly then entered a lunch in the Capitol with Democratic senators.
The Manchin-Toomey measure would expand background checks to gun shows and the Internet. They are currently required only for sales handled by licensed gun dealers. Supporters consider the system a good way to keep firearms from criminals, while opponents say the system doesn’t work and is ignored by criminals.