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US Senate says 'No' to expanded gun checks

The vote is a major blow to the Obama administration.

Protesters look for a change in gun laws earlier this year.
Protesters look for a change in gun laws earlier this year.
Image: Jessica Hill/PA Wire

US SENATORS HAVE rejected a measure that would expand background checks on gun sales.

The legislation, which was strongly backed by gun crime victim and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was the result of bipartisan efforts in the wake of the Newtown elementary school massacre which claimed the lives of 20 children.

In a historic decision last week, the Senate agreed to debate the nation’s gun laws for the first time in years.

If passed, the measure would also have made amendments to the bill to stiffen penalties for gun trafficking and boost school safety.

The vote came in at 54-46 but 60 votes were needed for it to pass. A handful of Democrats stood in opposition, resulting in its defeat.

The deal, which had already watered down some of the Obama administration’s demands about gun checks, would have required background checks for all transactions at gun shows and online. Currently they must only occur for sales handled by licensed gun dealers.

The National Rifle Association opposed the plan, describing it as an ineffective infringement on gun rights.

The vote will be seen as a major blow to the President’s efforts for stricter gun laws in the US.

-Additional reporting by AFP and AP

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