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Moment of Truth for Background Checks

The effort to expand background checks will either move ahead or fall apart today, as the Senate takes up the bill.

It's a critical day for gun-control in Washington. 

The effort to expand background checks will either move ahead or fall apart today. 

Very few Republicans have signed onto this compromise which means there may not be enough votes to get it through.

An assault weapons ban, limiting high-capacity magazines -- it's all up for a vote late this afternoon.

But the only thing that even has a chance of passing is expanding background checks to gun shows and internet sales.

And as of this morning no one is certain of anything. "We haven't voted on it because supoprters don't have the votes to pass it," said Senator Chuck Grassley/ (R) Iowa  

The compromise crafted by democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey needs 60 votes. It looks like they may be two to four short, but supporters aren't giving up. "am i saying 'it's all over with, done, we got the votes?' No. But we certainly feel we have the wind at our back." Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)/ Sen. Majority Leader  

Here's the breakdown, four republicans have said - or suggested - they'll vote for it.

At least two Democrats from conservatives states may vote against it. So will Republican Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. 

Three other Democrats, and four Republicans were unknown, now, Nevada's Dean Jeller says he's voting no. 

Emotional pleas came from former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, as they dedicated a room at the capitol to her aide who was killed in the shooting Giffords survived. "To do everything in his power to ensure that their government was responsive to them will guide their leadership., said Mark Kelly, Giffords' Husband.  

Giffords and Kelly promised to campaign for lawmakers under pressure back home.

That amendment expanding background checks is just one of nine scheduled for a vote this afternoon. 

Tracie Potts, NBC News.
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