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Senate rejects all four gun reform proposals on Monday

The Senate blocked four measures that would make buying weapons harder for the public.
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The Senate did not support legislation that would require stringent background checks and tighter restrictions for individuals who appear on terrorist watchlists.

Just eight days after the mass shootings in Florida, where a lone gunman entered an Orlando nightclub and killed 49 people and injured 53, four proposals, all amendments to a Justice Department spending bill were blocked.

The prior convening of the Senate over gun legislation was held in December 2015,  after 14 people were killed by a couple with semiautomatic rifles in San Bernardino. The Senate defeated four gun reform proposals at that meeting as well.

They also voted down measures in 2013 after the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013 which took the lives of 20 children and six staff members.

The measures presented to the Senate on Monday  were sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn).

Sen. Feinstein (failed 47-53 )  proposed to give authority to the attorney general to deny the sale of guns or explosives to men and women if he or she believes that such sale would result in a terrorist act.

Sen. Grassley (failed 53-47) proposed an amendment that would make it difficult to add people suffering from mental illness to the background checklist and also add a process for those people to challenge that assertion.

Sen. Cornyn (failed  53-47) proposed to have law enforcement alerted if a person on a terror watchlist attempts to purchase a weapon from a licensed dealer. If that individual has been investigated for terrorism activities or suspicions within the last five years, the Department of Justice could block that sale for 72 hours while the buyer is taken to court for probable cause.

Finally, Sen Murphy (failed 44-56)  proposed to close the “gun show loophole.” That would have required every person to submit to a background check if they are buying weapons through a private transaction or a gun show.

The defeat of all four amendments also coincides with a Supreme Court decision on Monday to not hear arguments against the ban of assault rifles in Connecticut and New York. A slight win for gun control proponents. 

Democratic Senator Murphy said before Monday’s Senate vote, “I have been so angry that this Congress has mustered absolutely no response to mass shooting after mass shooting, in city after city that is plagued by gun violence."

While Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “No one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns or explosives. No one." But, he added Democrats were trying to “craft the next 30-second campaign ad.”