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Gun-rights group endorses Manchin-Toomey compromise

A gun-rights group on Sunday endorsed a bipartisan compromise in the Senate to expand background checks — splitting from the National Rifle Association.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms had opposed previous iterations of a Democratic proposal for univesal background checks.

This group has far fewer members than the NRA — over 600,000 as compared to the NRA's nearly 5 million. But the  shift still represents a divide in the usually-united gun lobby, and lends further momentum to an expanded background check measure negotiated by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

In announcing support, the group pointed to sections of the compromise that lift some restrictions on guns that are already in place.

"You can see all the advances for our cause that it containes like interstate sales of handguns," chairman Alan Gottlieb said.

"It's huge," Manchin told Fox News on Sunday afternoon as he announced the CCRKBA endorsement.

The Senate is set to spend this week debating gun legislation.