Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said the U.S. Senate's failure to pass key provisions of federal gun control legislation is "a disservice to the American public."
A small group of Democrats joined Senate Republicans in rejecting provisions to ban assault weapons and expand gun sale background checks.
"I'm extremely disappointed that we couldn't pass even those provisions that the vast majority of Americans support – Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike," Franken said in a statement Thursday. "The failure of amendments strengthening provisions against straw purchases and gun trafficking, and for strengthening our background check system is, in my mind, a disservice to the American public. To me, one of the most important parts of this bill was strengthening background checks – something that Minnesotans in every corner of the state told me time and time again was a commonsense thing to do. I believe that the Senate will revisit these provisions in the future, and I hope the outcome will be different."
By agreement of Senate leaders, a 60-vote majority was needed to approve any of the provisions brought to a vote.
The vote on expanded background checks fell short with a 54-46 tally, while the assault weapons ban received just 40 votes. A provision to ban sales of high capacity ammunition clips had only 46 votes.