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.
More top news
Students at a university in Singapore were warned to be alert after a king cobra and a python were photographed mid-fight on the campus.
The picture, which ITV News has chosen not to publish, shows the young boy, lying motionless on Bodrum beach in Turkey.
A teenager posing for selfies with a gun has died after the weapon reportedly went off.