The Senate failed to pass an amendment to expand background check requirements to include most commercial sales, a significant setback to gun legislation developed in response to the Newtown school shootings. The Los Angeles Times said the vote in favor was 54-46, six votes short of the 60 it needed to be adopted under an agreement between Senate leaders.
Four Republicans voted for the bill, while four Democrats voted against it, including three who are up for election next year, Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The defeat came despite intensive lobbying by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W Va) and Patrick Toomey (R-PA), and a four-month campaign for stricter gun laws by the White House and activists, including family members of Newtown victims. Manchin criticized what he called a misinformation campaign from opponents, including the National Rifle Association.