On Wednesday, gun control advocates in the U.S. Senate failed to rally enough votes to pass a bill designed to increase government oversight of gun sales.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had brokered a deal with Republicans to put the bill expanding background checks for gun sales before the senate without amendments. In order to pass, the bill needed at least 60 votes. Despite being considered the mildest of recent gun control measures, the bill only garnered 54 votes, the New York Times noted.
Gun control took a prominent place in President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda for the new year after a mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., school late last year that killed 20 children.
However, in the months since the massacre, gun rights advocates and gun makers had rallied to oppose new restrictions on weapons sales.
In the aftermath of last night’s vote, which also saw other gun control measures stall, the President told reporters that it was “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
Gun rights advocates pointed out that the restrictions would only have affected law-abiding gun owners, not criminals.
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