Update: The ambitious gun controls advocated by President Obama failed in a Senate vote on Wednesday, which included measures to restrict magazine size, certain types of firearms termed “assault weapons” and a background check amendment. President Obama made a statement after the voting was finished in which he said, “All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
In a Senate vote on Wednesday afternoon, Senators Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) and Partick Toomey’s (R-PA) proposal lacked the necessary 60 votes to pass a filibuster. Their background check amendment was considered by some to be a bipartisan compromise between both gun control supporters and opponents, but ultimately a number of undecided senators voted against the proposal. The final vote came to 54-46.
According to The Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to gather support for the amendment just before the vote.
“If tragedy strikes again…if innocents are gunned down in a classroom, theater or restaurant, I would have trouble living with myself as a senator, as a husband, a father, or grandfather and friend, knowing that I didn’t do everything in my power to prevent that incident,” Reid said to his colleagues.
Many senators thought the amendment signified too great of an overreach by the government in private sales. The proposal was also rejected by the National Rifle Association and many gun owners’ associations.
You can read more about the background check amendment here.
After the vote on the background check amendment, Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) “assault weapons” ban also failed to pass, with the final vote coming in at 40-60. Senator Reid had previously exuded the much contested measure from the broader gun control bill. At the time it signified the low probability of the ban to achieve the necessary number of votes. You can read more about Senator Feinstein’s ban here.