An LAPD officer stands before collected assault weapons during the LAPD Gun Buyback Program event in the Van Nuys area of north Los Angeles, on December 26, 2012. Los Angeles' no-questions-asked gun buyback event, where weapons could be exchanged for up to $200, was held five months early after the Connecticut school shooting. Gun owners could take their arms to one of two locations in return for a $100 grocery store gift card for handguns, rifles and shotguns, or a $200 card for automatic weapons. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
A small, bipartisan group of senators is quietly trying to reach a compromise on expanding the requirement for background checks to cover nearly all gun purchases. A deal could give political momentum to one of the key elements of President Barack Obama's gun-control plan.
The private talks involve liberal Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is the No. 3 Senate Democratic leader, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a National Rifle Association member and one of the Senate's more moderate Democrats.
On the Republican side, participants are Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, another NRA member and one of the more conservative lawmakers in Congress, and moderate Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.
The NRA says expanding background checks would do little good because criminals largely get their guns illegally.