Big blow to Obama's gun pledge

President Barack Obama has suffered a large setback in his bid to curb gun violence in the America after the US Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to pass a plan to expand background checks for firearms.

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'Furious' Giffords attacks senators over gun vote

Gabby Giffords joined President Obama in condemning senators who voted against gun reform measures. Credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Gabrielle Giffords, the US congresswoman who was shot in the head in an attack at an Arizona supermarket, has hit out at the 46 senators who voted against gun control reform measures.

Writing in The New York Times, Ms Giffords said: "Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious."

The former representative now walks with a limp as a result of the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson that left six people dead.

President Obama attacks US gun lobby's 'lies'

President Barack Obama has hit out at America's powerful gun lobby for orchestrating a campaign of "lies" and "scare tactics" about the potential impact of tighter weapon laws.

The National Rifle Association had warned its members the proposal would require checks for sales and gifts between family and friends and lead to a national registry.

Mr Obama did not mince his words after seeing a Senate vote for reform fail to pass.


'Our hearts are broken. Our spirit is not'

Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was among those killed in the Newtown massacre, has said families of the victims are heartbroken at the Senate's blocking of gun ownership legislation but will continue to campaign for stronger weapon controls.

He issued an emotional plea at the White House after a plan aimed at expanding background checks for gun buyers failed to receive enough support in a vote.

With President Obama looking on, Mr Barden said: "We always knew this would be a long road. We don't have the luxury of turning back."

Obama hits out at 'shameful' politics after gun defeat

President Obama has angrily blamed politics for the failure of legislation aimed at tightening gun controls to be endorsed by the US Senate.

Attacking the powerful gun lobby for spreading lies in the build up to the vote, the US President said his battle to secure gun reform was not over.

"There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this. It came down to politics. All in all this was a pretty shameful day for Washington but this effort is not over."

– Barack Obama

Obama: 90% of Americans back gun control

A few minutes ago a minority in the US Senate decided that (gun control) wasn't worth it. They blocked common sense reforms even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery.

By now it's well known that 90% of Americans support background checks which will stop a dangerous person from being able to buy a gun.

We're talking about convicted felons, people convicted of domestic violence, people with severe mental illness.

90% of Americans support that idea. Most American's think that is already the law. And a few minutes ago 90% of Democrats voted in the senate for that idea.

But it's not going to happen because 90% of Republicans in the senate voted against that idea.

– President Barack Obama

Sandy Hook parent: 'We will return disappointed'

Mark Barden addressing reporters at the White House Credit: RTV

The father of a seven-year-old boy who died in the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school has told reporters that "what happened in Newtown could happen anywhere" and that "no one should have to feel (his) pain".

Flanked by President Barack Obama, Mark Barden said 12 families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting had come to Washington with "a sense of hope".

Mr Barden said the suggested reform to gun control by two US senators was "a common sense proposal backed by 90% of Americans. We will return now disappointed but not defeated"


Republicans offer 'alternative' gun control measure

After a bipartisan deal which would have increased back ground checks on people who wanted to buy guns failed to pass the US Senate, Republican Senators have been presenting alternative suggestions.

One proposal put forward by Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa focuses on improving mental health records for gun owners and funding "improved school safety measures". But controversially it would also expand some gun owner rights by allowing interstate arms sales.

Rather than restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans, we should be focusing on keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals, which this legislation accomplishes.

The only way to stop violent crime is to stop violent criminals."

– Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa

Democratic Leader: Gun lobby using 'scare tatics'

The Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has accused the NRA and gun lobby of "shameful scare tactics", after an amendment which would have expanded background checks on people wanting to buy guns, failed to secure enough of the vote to be put into law.

Opponents of the measure say that said the proposals were an example of government overreach that would infringe on the constitutional right to bear arms.

We must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence.

If tragedy strikes again if innocents are gunned down in a classroom or a theatre or a restaurant I could not live with myself as a father, as a husband, as a grandfather or as a friend knowing that I didn't do everything in my power to prevent.

– Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader

US Senate fails to pass new gun control laws

Politicians in the US Senate have failed to back a bipartisan plan which would mean that individuals who wanted to buy firearms would have to go through extensive background checks.

The Senate voted 54-46 in favour of the plan, but failed to achieve the 60-vote threshold necessary to make it law.

Several Democrats from rural, pro-gun states joined with most Republicans to vote against the legislation.

Analysts say this is a major blow to President Barack Obama's plans to introduce stricter gun controls following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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