Two prominent senators are working toward forging a compromise proposal on expanded background checks, aiming for a breakthrough on the biggest impasse in controversial gun control legislation.

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, an influential moderate, are said to be working on a deal that would allow the checks to apply to purchases at gun shows and Internet sales — but, importantly, exempt some sales between hunters or close relatives.

It’s unclear whether such a proposal would be embraced by pro-gun rights conservatives and the National Rifle Association, which so far has opposed the kind of comprehensive firearms legislation pushed by President Obama and his allies in Congress. But the issue of family members and others being subjected to an expanded background check system for sales between them has become an obstacle.

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