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Originally published Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

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Gun bill proponents secure key Wash. vote

Supporters of a plan to expand background checks on gun sales are more optimistic about the bill's fate after securing another key vote.

Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Supporters of a plan to expand background checks on gun sales are more optimistic about the bill's fate after securing another key vote.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Pederson of Seattle said Tuesday he expected the state House would take up the measure later in the day. Supporters have been straining to corral a few extra votes that would give the bill majority support in the chamber.

Democratic Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma was opposed to the bill on Monday but said Tuesday morning he'd changed his mind. He has wanted to provide law enforcement or prosecutors with funding to go after felons who try to acquire guns and said colleagues have agreed to do something in the budget to help with that effort.

The bill would require background checks for private gun transactions. Gun buyers currently must undergo a background check when they purchase a weapon from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

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