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Senate rejects expanded gun background checks

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Linn Meyers, 48 of DC, cries and she listens to stories of the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. She has not been active in the movement before, but the huge loss of life, moved her. A diverse coalition of groups and activists held an overnight peace vigil in front of the National Rifle Assiciation's (NRA) offices in Fairfax, VA to honor the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. They called for a ban on assault weapons. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Gun control debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has rejected a bipartisan effort to expand federal background checks to more firearms buyers in a crucial showdown over gun control.

Wednesday's vote was a jarring blow to the drive to curb firearms sparked by December's massacre of children and staff at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. President Barack Obama made broadened background checks the centerpiece of his gun control proposals.

The roll call was also a victory for the National Rifle Association, which opposed the plan as an ineffective infringement on gun rights.

The proposal would have required background checks for all transactions at gun shows and online. Currently they must occur for sales handled by licensed gun dealers.

The system is designed to keep criminals and people with mental problems from getting guns.