Heidi Przybyla, Bloomberg

A coalition of House Republicans is willing to thwart the National Rifle Association’s opposition to broadening background checks for U.S. gun purchases. That may be President Barack Obama’s best chance for advancing tougher gun regulations this year.

Representatives Patrick Meehan and Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania are among Republicans expressing openness to expanding the background-check system, including mandatory screening of buyers at gun shows. “We need to consider any option that will keep people safe,” Fitzpatrick said in an interview.

“I’m interested in looking at closing the gun-show loophole,” Meehan said in an interview. “But I’m also going to be watching where this goes, particularly in the Senate and how much real effort will be put” forth, he said…

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