Washington: The US Senate has defeated a string of gun control measures including one aimed at expanding background checks for individual gun sales, a blow to reform efforts in the wake of the Orlando massacre.
Activists protest outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Virginia calling for a ban on assault weapons. Pic/AFP
Four amendments — two Democratic and two Republican — were introduced and received votes. All four failed to pass the 60-vote threshold necessary to advance in the Senate on Monday. The legislation was accelerated last week when Senator Chris Murphy staged a 15-hour marathon Senate speech pressing for common sense gun control in the wake of the attack on a Florida gay club that left 49 people dead.
Murphy’s amendment, which would have expanded background checks for individual gun sales to include those conducted at gun shows or online, failed to clear the procedural hurdle, going down 44 votes to 56.
A Republican measure expanding funding for the background check system also failed to advance, as did a Republican effort to authorise court orders that would delay gun sales by 72 hours for people on terror watch lists or “no-fly” lists to allow authorities to investigate the would-be purchasers.
Democrats had felt that the measure was not restrictive enough. The fourth defeated measure, by Democrat Dianne Feinstein, would have prevented gun sales to people featured on “no-fly” terrorism screening lists.
Greg Evers, a Republican candidate for Congress in Florida has launched a contest on his Facebook campaign page to give away a semi-automatic rifle on July 4. The custom-built AR-15 rifle, which the Evers campaign says is the “Homeland Defender” collector’s edition, will be given away to a randomly chosen person who has liked and shared Evers’ page or signed up on his campaign website.