Four bills up for a vote have failed before, and few expected a different result
By ALI ROGIN and BENJAMIN SIEGEL
June 20, 2016, 11:17 PM
• 2 min read
-- The Senate voted down four gun control measures Monday evening, with Republicans and Democrats largely divided along party lines over how best to respond to the Orlando nightclub shooting more than one week ago.
The last time a mass shooting spurred senators to action was in December 2015, after the San Bernardino, California, shooting, when they voted on two measures intended to prevent terrorists from being able to buy guns.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., authored one of those bills, which would have barred gun purchases by anyone on a terrorist watch list. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wrote the other, which would have delayed the sale of a gun to anyone on a terrorist watch list for 72 hours to give the government time to get a court order to prevent the purchase from going through.
After San Bernardino, neither bill came up with the 60 votes needed -- a result that repeated itself Monday night on the Senate floor.
Both bills had been altered after the Orlando shooting — including the addition of a five-year look-back period that would require flagging the Department of Justice if someone who has been under a federal terrorism investigation within the last five years tries to buy a gun. That provision might have stopped Orlando shooter Omar Mateen because the FBI previously investigated him for possible terrorism ties.
The Senate also voted down a new loophole-closing measure, sponsored by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Murphy told ABC’s Jon Karl that he doubted the bill would pass.
"I admit that the background checks bill is going to be tough to get 60 votes on, but we still have hope that we can get Republicans to support the bill stopping terrorists from getting weapons," he said on Sunday’s “This Week.”
The Senate also failed to advance a proposal from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. It would have beefed up resources available to prosecute gun-law violators.