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Senate votes down gun curbs in wake of CA attack

Senate votes down gun curbs in wake of CA attack
Posted at 2:47 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 17:47:15-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — A polarized Senate has voted down a Democratic effort to bar gun purchases by people the government suspects of being terrorists, a day after the country's latest mass shooting.

Senators voted 54-45 to reject the proposal by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Minutes earlier, the Senate killed a rival plan by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas that would have let the government delay firearms sales to suspected terrorists for up to 72 hours. Under that proposal, the transaction could be halted permanently if federal officials could persuade a judge to do so.

Senators voted 55-44 for Cornyn's proposal, but it needed 60 votes to pass.

Both votes were mostly party-line.

They came a day after a shooting in San Bernardino, California, killed 14 people and wounded 21 others.

Later on Thursday, the Senate has voted anew against expanding background checks for more gun purchases, rejecting the proposal a day after the latest U.S. mass shooting left 14 people dead in California.

Thursday's 50-47 vote underscored that political gridlock over curbing firearms remains formidable in Washington, amid a rash of highly publicized U.S. shootings and last month's terror attack in Paris.

The measure was co-authored by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.

It would require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Currently, the checks are only required for transactions from licensed gun dealers.

It's the same proposal the Senate rejected in the months after the December 2012 slayings of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut.