Senate Blocks Gun Control Measures in Wake of Orlando Shootings

Orlando Nightclub Shooting 50 Dead
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Less than 10 days after the mass shootings in Orlando, Fla., the U.S. Senate blocked a series of proposals to restrict access to firearms, including measures to require background checks at gun shows and another to block gun sales to suspected terrorists.

A measure to require that gun sales at gun shows and over the Internet be subjected to background checks failed a procedural vote, with 56 senators voting against it and 44 in favor. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) broke ranks with Democrats and voted to block the measure from going further. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted in favor.

The measure had been authored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who last week staged a filibuster to demand a vote on gun control measures in the aftermath of the shootings in Orlando, Fla., the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

A measure from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to block gun sales to suspected terrorists also failed, with 47 in favor and 53 against. It would give the government authority to block such sales if there was a “reasonable belief” the weapon would be used to conduct terrorism. Opponents argued that it would give too much authority to the federal government without judicial review. Kirk and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) voted in favor, and Heitkamp voted against.

Also failing to advance was a measure sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would have delayed for three days the sale of firearms to a suspected terrorist or those investigated for ties to terrorism. To permanently block the sale, prosecutors then would have go to court to prove probable cause that weapon would be used in terrorist activity.

The Cornyn measure had the support of the National Rifle Assn., but Democrats argued that the measure created too many roadblocks for authorities to ultimately keep the weapons from terrorism suspects. Kirk, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) voted with Democrats against it, and Manchin and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) voted with Republicans for it.

Another measure, from Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would have boosted funding for the background check system and commissioned a study on the causes of mass shootings. But it too failed to get the required number of votes to advance.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign tweeted out messages in advance of the vote, urging supporters to call their lawmakers to urge passage. After the measures failed, her campaign sent out a release saying simply, “Enough,” followed by the names of the victims of the Orlando shootings.


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  1. Pia Kiss says:

    Making money off of the gun advocates and inciting fear and murder matters more than the lives of minorities? Nice to know the US Senate doesn’t give a shit if its citizens die in mass numbers.

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  2. Sandi says:

    I think it’s time to impeach these Senators.


    It’s very clear – Republicans like the way things are now. Gun laws are the way they should be and events like Orlando and Sandy Hook are just going to happen sometimes. Mass killings – Oops, that’s too bad. Thoughts and Prayers. Let’s move on…NEXT!

  4. Nanny Mo says:

    Thank God! Only an idiot passes laws to disarm the innocent after a shooting!

  5. Marco says:

    America will never limit access to guns.
    The senators that vote against a ban are paid by the arms industry.
    So the solution is: everyone has to always carry a gun for self-defense.

  6. jelly says:

    Block radical Islamic Muslims. Also blame GLAAD for shoving LGBT agenda in our faces. GLAAD should apologize to the families of all the Puerto Rican homosexuals killed that night. Tragic. You lib’tards should have your heads examined then charged with treason against the United States.

    • Darryl Macdonld says:

      Are you even sane?? I guess your comment provides the answer to that question. Clearly, Puerto Ricans were the target that night, and GLAAD and all Muslims were to blame. Guess we know who you’re voting for, sicko…

  7. jfafilms says:

    It’s insane they can’t even get people on a ‘No fly List’??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

  8. Gahan says:

    Good thing these measures were killed. Government secrecy remains a big problem. There is no Due Process for anyone on the list. No Transparency. We’d be better off profiling the obvious guilty parties. Jihadis in the latest round of attacks in the US and Europe are Arabs, or Pakistani/Afghani. Ban Muslims, not guns. Trump.

  9. Joi Karen says:

    Totally confused by this article. Who is FOR and WHO exactly is AGAINST.changing the easy access to guns in this country. Lists would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • cadavra says:

      Republicans want terrorists to be able to buy guns. Democrats don’t. Just that simple.

      • cadavra says:

        God just tweeted, “Show me in the Bible where I talk about guns.”

      • nohw says:

        Ah the old liberal blame game is always present; its guns that kill, its legal gun owners fault so we need to strip them of their God given rights, no its Christians. Maybe try asking why Obama’s government failed at every step with the Orlando shooter; why Obama destabilized the ME and helped ISIS rise by arming our enemies and why he wants more radicals imported here; why they had the Fast n’ Furious debacle to release more guns to murders. Ask yourself why would the FBI let the Orlando shooter’s wife go free and who they cannot find now. We know who is to blame and it is not the Senate Republicans.

      • Nanny Mo says:

        Are you dumb in any other areas?

      • Michelle says:


      • cadavra says:

        You clearly live in a bubble. Republicans want to deprive women of the right to do what they wish with their bodies, minorities with the right to vote, non-Christians from worshipping the God of their choice, poor people from the basic necessities, and almost everyone from health insurance. Try living in the real world for a change.

      • Democrats want to deprive people of their rights without due process, republicans don’t. Just that simple.

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