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The president’s gun-control proposals have hit opposition from the National Rifle Association, which was using the Internet and emails to urge its members — it claims nearly 5 million — to tell members of Congress of their opposition.
In GOP-heavy Louisiana, where Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is seeking re-election next year, the NRA wrote to its members, "Please contact Senator Landrieu and encourage her to oppose this anti-freedom legislation."
Counteracting that has been an effort by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, one of whose leaders is billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The group was running a television ad in Pennsylvania asking voters to contact Toomey and tell him to back expanded background checks. It also said it will keep track of key gun-related congressional roll calls and make the information available to voters and contributors — a tactic long used by the NRA and other groups.
Manchin has been hoping for a deal with Toomey that would expand the requirement to sales at gun shows and online while exempting other transactions, such as those between relatives and those involving private, face-to-face purchases.
Currently, federal background checks are required for sales by licensed gun dealers but not for other transactions.
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