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HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania gun rights organization plans to keep pressuring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey not to reintroduce legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases after saying his office backed off an aide's private assurances that he wouldn't.

Tom Campion of Pennsylvanians For Self Protection said the organization was surprised that Toomey's state director, Robert DeSousa, denied giving that assurance.

Toomey's spokeswoman E.R. Anderson says DeSousa told group members during an Aug. 10 meeting that Toomey is committed to the principles of his legislation. It failed in a 2013 Senate vote.

Anderson says Toomey believes it still lacks enough support to pass the Senate, but he's not giving up on it. She says the goal is to "keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill."

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