Unable to break the filibuster threshold, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected an effort to expand federal background checks to include all transactions at gun shows and online. In our region, gun control advocates say it will move their efforts to the state level.
Background checks are currently mandated for sales handled by licensed gun dealers. The 54-46 defeat of the provision to expand background checks was denounced by President Obama, who said opponents "caved to the pressure" of special interests.
Gun Sense Vermont Lead Organizer Ann Braden watched the live Senate vote.
Democracy for America was founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and is based in South Burlington. Following the Senate’s defeat of the Manchin-Toomey amendment, DFA Spokesman Neil Sroka railed against what he calls “spineless” Democrats who aided the failure.
The conservative Ethan Allen Institute promotes Second Amendment rights. Vice President John McClaughry says none of the measures the Senate considered had any real possibility of preventing another tragedy.
The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs is the state association for the NRA. Vice President Evan Hughes says people want simple solutions to a complex problem.
Ann Braden says any gun control effort must now be done on a state by state basis.
The Senate also defeated a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines and a measure that would loosen restrictions on concealed weapons carried across state lines. But the President – and reform advocates, including Sandy Hook parents – vowed that the fight had only begun.