Gun control debate

Yahoo News

The U.S. Senate on June 20, 2016, rejected four measures restricting guns after last week’s mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub, although lawmakers were still trying to forge a compromise that could keep firearms away from people on terrorism watch lists.

In a familiar setback for gun control advocates, all four of the measures to expand background checks on gun buyers and curb gun sales to those on terrorism watch lists - two put forth by Democrats and two by Republicans - fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage in the 100-member chamber.

The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history last week had intensified pressure on lawmakers and spurred quick action, but the gun-control measures lost in largely party-line votes that showed the lingering political power in Congress of gun rights defenders and the National Rifle Association.

Republicans and their allies in the NRA gun lobby said the Democratic bills were too restrictive and trampled on the constitutional right to bear arms. Democrats attacked the Republicans’ plans as too weak. (Reuters)


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Linn Meyers, 48 of DC, cries and she listens to stories of the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. She has not been active in the movement before, but the huge loss of life, moved her. A diverse coalition of groups and activists held an overnight peace vigil in front of the National Rifle Assiciation's (NRA) offices in Fairfax, VA to honor the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. They called for a ban on assault weapons. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Gun control debate
Linn Meyers, 48 of DC, cries and she listens to stories of the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. She has not been active in the movement before, but the huge loss of life, moved her. A diverse coalition of groups and activists held an overnight peace vigil in front of the National Rifle Assiciation's (NRA) offices in Fairfax, VA to honor the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. They called for a ban on assault weapons. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Sen. Chris Murphy (C) speaks during a press conference held by Democratic senators calling for action on gun violence June 16, 2016 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Gun control debate
Sen. Chris Murphy (C) speaks during a press conference held by Democratic senators calling for action on gun violence June 16, 2016 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Gun enthusiasts look over Rock River Arms' guns at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. (REUTERS/John Sommers II)
Gun control debate
Gun enthusiasts look over Rock River Arms' guns at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. (REUTERS/John Sommers II)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) fires an AR-15 rifle at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, January 17, 2016. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)
Gun control debate
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) fires an AR-15 rifle at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, January 17, 2016. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)
President Barack Obama sheds a tear while delivering a statement on steps the administration is taking to reduce gun violence in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Jan.5, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Gun control debate
President Barack Obama sheds a tear while delivering a statement on steps the administration is taking to reduce gun violence in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Jan.5, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: Guests hold up images of victims of gun violence as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about his efforts to increase federal gun control in the East Room of the White House January 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Without approval from Congress, Obama is sidestepping the legislative process with executive actions to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of existing gun laws. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Obama Speaks In The East Room Of White House On Efforts To Reduce Gun Violence
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: Guests hold up images of victims of gun violence as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about his efforts to increase federal gun control in the East Room of the White House January 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Without approval from Congress, Obama is sidestepping the legislative process with executive actions to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of existing gun laws. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Gun control activists rally in front of the White House in Washington, January 4, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Gun control debate
Gun control activists rally in front of the White House in Washington, January 4, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Gun control activists rally in front of the White House in Washington, January 4, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Gun control debate
Gun control activists rally in front of the White House in Washington, January 4, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Vesta Parks checks out a handgun as she prepares to buy Tim Schneider (L) one as a Christmas present at the National Armory gun store on December 23, 2015 in Pompano Beach, Florida. F.B.I. stats indicate that gun sales have increased dramatically this year, as reports indicate that firearms are a popular choice for a holiday present. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Gun control debate
Vesta Parks checks out a handgun as she prepares to buy Tim Schneider (L) one as a Christmas present at the National Armory gun store on December 23, 2015 in Pompano Beach, Florida. F.B.I. stats indicate that gun sales have increased dramatically this year, as reports indicate that firearms are a popular choice for a holiday present. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
First time gun owner, Jessie Palmieri holds a target she shot with a H&K VP9 9mm gun at the Ringmasters of Utah gun range, in Springville, Utah on December 18, 2015. (REUTERS/George Frey)
Gun control debate
First time gun owner, Jessie Palmieri holds a target she shot with a H&K VP9 9mm gun at the Ringmasters of Utah gun range, in Springville, Utah on December 18, 2015. (REUTERS/George Frey)
An attendee wears a "gun rights" button on his shirt while waiting for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to address the crowd during a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan December 21, 2015. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)
Gun control debate
An attendee wears a "gun rights" button on his shirt while waiting for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to address the crowd during a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan December 21, 2015. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)
A customer compares handguns before buying one as a Christmas present at the National Armory gun store on December 23, 2015 in Pompano Beach, Florida. F.B.I. stats indicate that gun sales have increased dramatically this year, as reports indicate that firearms are a popular choice for a holiday present. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Gun control debate
A customer compares handguns before buying one as a Christmas present at the National Armory gun store on December 23, 2015 in Pompano Beach, Florida. F.B.I. stats indicate that gun sales have increased dramatically this year, as reports indicate that firearms are a popular choice for a holiday present. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A Christmas tree is seen at the National Armory gun store on December 23, 2015 in Pompano Beach, Florida. F.B.I. stats indicate that gun sales have increased dramatically this year, as reports indicate that firearms are a popular choice for a holiday present. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Gun control debate
A Christmas tree is seen at the National Armory gun store on December 23, 2015 in Pompano Beach, Florida. F.B.I. stats indicate that gun sales have increased dramatically this year, as reports indicate that firearms are a popular choice for a holiday present. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, crosses symbolizing grave markers are placed upon the National Mall in Washington April 11, 2013. The PICO National Network's Lifelines to Healing and Sojourners are holding a 24-hour vigil featuring a gathering of Newtown clergy and 3,300 grave markers to "remind Congress action is needed on gun violence prevention". The number 3,300 represents the supposed number of people who have died as a result of gun violence since the tragedy in Newtown. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Gun control debate
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, crosses symbolizing grave markers are placed upon the National Mall in Washington April 11, 2013. The PICO National Network's Lifelines to Healing and Sojourners are holding a 24-hour vigil featuring a gathering of Newtown clergy and 3,300 grave markers to "remind Congress action is needed on gun violence prevention". The number 3,300 represents the supposed number of people who have died as a result of gun violence since the tragedy in Newtown. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Members of the "Patriots" Huggie Bear (L, not his real name), Ray (C, no last name given) and Will (R, no last name given) patrol in their UTV near a camp of patriots near the U.S.-Mexico border outside Brownsville, Texas September 2, 2014. Huggie Bear, 25, is a former sergeant in the Army, Ray served six years in the Coast Guard and Will is a construction worker. The "Patriots" are a heavily armed group who patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, trying to deter immigrants from crossing the border illegally. The group, who portray themselves as defending the American way, use a strong display of force to intimidate anyone from making the crossing from Mexico into Texas. To critics, they are vigilantes spoiling for a fight. To the immigrants, they are another barrier to entry and to the U.S. Border Patrol, groups like this can either be a nuisance interfering with their operations or an aide in spotting migrants illegally trying to enter the country.  Picture taken September 2, 2014.  (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)
Gun control debate
Members of the "Patriots" Huggie Bear (L, not his real name), Ray (C, no last name given) and Will (R, no last name given) patrol in their UTV near a camp of patriots near the U.S.-Mexico border outside Brownsville, Texas September 2, 2014. Huggie Bear, 25, is a former sergeant in the Army, Ray served six years in the Coast Guard and Will is a construction worker. The "Patriots" are a heavily armed group who patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, trying to deter immigrants from crossing the border illegally. The group, who portray themselves as defending the American way, use a strong display of force to intimidate anyone from making the crossing from Mexico into Texas. To critics, they are vigilantes spoiling for a fight. To the immigrants, they are another barrier to entry and to the U.S. Border Patrol, groups like this can either be a nuisance interfering with their operations or an aide in spotting migrants illegally trying to enter the country.  Picture taken September 2, 2014.  (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)
Aleena Nicoloro of Redding, Conn. holds a sign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Aleena Nicoloro of Redding, Conn. holds a sign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Aleena Nicoloro of Redding, Conn. holds a sign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on so-called "stand your ground laws." Fulton mother told a panel of senators that state stand your ground self-defense laws do not work and must be amended, reviving the politically charged gun control issue. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on so-called "stand your ground laws." Fulton mother told a panel of senators that state stand your ground self-defense laws do not work and must be amended, reviving the politically charged gun control issue. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on so-called "stand your ground laws." Fulton mother told a panel of senators that state stand your ground self-defense laws do not work and must be amended, reviving the politically charged gun control issue. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE - In this April 10, 2013 file photo, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, left, and Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, right, announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, at the Capitol in Washington. A bipartisan gun control deal by Toomey and Manchin inspired Senate conservatives to drop their filibuster plans, even though many Republicans who allowed the legislation to advance said they were unlikely to vote for its passage in the end. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this April 10, 2013 file photo, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, left, and Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, right, announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, at the Capitol in Washington. A bipartisan gun control deal by Toomey and Manchin inspired Senate conservatives to drop their filibuster plans, even though many Republicans who allowed the legislation to advance said they were unlikely to vote for its passage in the end. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this April 10, 2013 file photo, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, left, and Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, right, announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, at the Capitol in Washington. A bipartisan gun control deal by Toomey and Manchin inspired Senate conservatives to drop their filibuster plans, even though many Republicans who allowed the legislation to advance said they were unlikely to vote for its passage in the end. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
NRA lifetime member Lee Smith, 79, from Houston, shows off his pins and patches to event attendees while taking part in the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Houston, Texas on May 5, 2013. Organizers expect some 70,000 attendees at the 142nd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Houston, which began on Friday and continues through Sunday. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)
Gun control debate
NRA lifetime member Lee Smith, 79, from Houston, shows off his pins and patches to event attendees while taking part in the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Houston, Texas on May 5, 2013. Organizers expect some 70,000 attendees at the 142nd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Houston, which began on Friday and continues through Sunday. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)
Abigail Garrett of Hampden holds a saign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Abigail Garrett of Hampden holds a saign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Abigail Garrett of Hampden holds a saign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
A 30 round magazine, left, and a 10 round magazine, right, rest below an AR-15 rifle at the Ammunition Storage Component company in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday, April 10, 2013. In the wake of Connecticut lawmaker's vote to ban high-capacity magazines after their passage of restrictive gun control law, the U.S. Senate is debating gun control legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A 30 round magazine, left, and a 10 round magazine, right, rest below an AR-15 rifle at the Ammunition Storage Component company in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday, April 10, 2013. In the wake of Connecticut lawmaker's vote to ban high-capacity magazines after their passage of restrictive gun control law, the U.S. Senate is debating gun control legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A 30 round magazine, left, and a 10 round magazine, right, rest below an AR-15 rifle at the Ammunition Storage Component company in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday, April 10, 2013. In the wake of Connecticut lawmaker's vote to ban high-capacity magazines after their passage of restrictive gun control law, the U.S. Senate is debating gun control legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Demonstrators yell and hold up signs during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Demonstrators yell and hold up signs during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Demonstrators yell and hold up signs during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
President Barack Obama looks at Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian, right, after she introduced him at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn., Monday, April 8, 2013. The Hockley's lost a child in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtoen, Conn. Obama said that lawmakers have an obligation to the children killed and other victims of gun violence to act on his proposals. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama looks at Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian, right, after she introduced him at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn., Monday, April 8, 2013. The Hockley's lost a child in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtoen, Conn. Obama said that lawmakers have an obligation to the children killed and other victims of gun violence to act on his proposals. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama looks at Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian, right, after she introduced him at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn., Monday, April 8, 2013. The Hockley's lost a child in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtoen, Conn. Obama said that lawmakers have an obligation to the children killed and other victims of gun violence to act on his proposals. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Jody Winslow, of Farmington, Conn., carries signs regarding the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution as he heads back to the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Hundreds of gun rights advocates are gathering at the statehouse in Hartford ahead of a vote in the General Assembly on proposed gun-control legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Jody Winslow, of Farmington, Conn., carries signs regarding the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution as he heads back to the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Hundreds of gun rights advocates are gathering at the statehouse in Hartford ahead of a vote in the General Assembly on proposed gun-control legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Jody Winslow, of Farmington, Conn., carries signs regarding the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution as he heads back to the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Hundreds of gun rights advocates are gathering at the statehouse in Hartford ahead of a vote in the General Assembly on proposed gun-control legislation. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Jillian Soto, sister of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Victoria Soto, left, speaks as her cousin Heather Cronk, right, holding photograph of Soto, listens, during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jillian Soto, sister of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Victoria Soto, left, speaks as her cousin Heather Cronk, right, holding photograph of Soto, listens, during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jillian Soto, sister of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Victoria Soto, left, speaks as her cousin Heather Cronk, right, holding photograph of Soto, listens, during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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