TODAY   |  April 10, 2013

Bipartisan deal on gun control reached

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are expected to announce a deal on gun control and background checks in just a few hours. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>> lawmakers in the senate have reached a bipartisan deal on gun control dealing with background checks and they plan to announce that at 11:00 east coast time today. let us go right now to kristen welker, she's at the white house . kristen , good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning to you. sources close to negotiations say two key senators have been working all night long to hammer out the final details of this deal, and they plan to announce it later this morning. democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia and republican senator pat toomey of pennsylvania may be just hours away from announcing a deal on background checks . sources close to the negotiation say the deal would require background checks on most commercial gun sales including purchases made at gun shows and over the internet but would exempt checks for most person-to-person transaction. for example a gun could be given as a gift between relatives.

>> this is a tough, tough fight. if you look at the history of gun control legislation over the last 100 years it hasn't happened very often at the federal level .

>> reporter: the deal is far less than the president was hoping far but could be mr. obama's best chance for enacting new gun laws in the wake of the newtown tragedy. today in a rare move the first lady will join the fray, traveling to her hometown of chicago.

>> this is deeply emotional and deeply personal and i think she thinks about her own childhood.

>> reporter: senior adviser valerie jarrett says she will evoke the memory of hadiya pendleton, shot and killed just days after performing at the inaugural ceremony.

>> it's a very personal speech, from the heart. you will feel the pain she felt the day of hadiya's funeral.

>> reporter: some of the loudest voices from the newtown families on capitol hill urging lawmakers to act. now the nra has yet to comment on this deal. the senate could take up the gun bill as early as thursday with some republicans threatening to block a vote on the measure but democrats tell nbc news they believe they have enough votes to block a republican filibuster. hoda?

>> kristen , the compromise obviously was bipartisan. each side didn't get something. what didn't each side get.

>> reporter: that's right, hoda. democrats had been hoping for background checks to be universal. they didn't get that. this is going to be a pared down, watered down version of background checks , however, they're still happy about it. republicans skeptical to some extent about background checks so this is a concession on their part as well. the president had ultimately been hoping for an assault weapons ban and limiting high capacity magazines. those measures are very unlikely to pass.