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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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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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