On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate defeated an amendment
that would have expanded background checks on gun purchases. The proposal, created by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (R-WV), lost by a 54-46 vote, with 4 Republicans backing and 4 Democrats opposing. The bill sought to close a loophole that allows firearms to be purchased at gun shows without background checks. Part of a group of gun control measures being voted on this week, the amendment was widely seen as the likeliest among them to succeed.
President Obama, who has advocated more gun restrictions in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, voiced strong disappointment at the amendment's defeat. Obama rebuked the National Rifle Association for falsely saying that the amendment would create a national gun registry, which he said helped drive a furious outcry to senators from "a vocal minority" of citizens. The N.R.A. said in a statement on the same day that “expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools.”
Also among the gun measures voted on by the Senate Wednesday was a defeated amendment that would have banned "assault" weapons.