US Senate rejects gun control bills
The Republican-controlled US Senate rejected four competing gun control measures Monday just days after the Orlando club massacre, highlighting the partisan feuding over an issue set to resonate during a heated presidential election year.
With a month to go before Republicans and Democrats formally nominate their White House hopefuls, lawmakers failed to compromise on one of the most sensitive hot-button issues in America.
Even as they sought to appear keen to take action following the deadliest mass shooting in US history that left 49 dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando a week ago, Republicans and Democrats voted down four amendments -- two from each party -- that would have limited some gun purchases, including those by suspected terrorists.
The two Democratic texts sought to bar those on FBI watchlists or no-fly lists from buying firearms, and to strengthen criminal and mental health background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms at gun shows and on the Internet.
Republicans are opposed to those measures -- in general, they oppose any effort to limit gun rights, saying they are protected by the US Constitution's Second Amendment.
They proposed a 72-hour waiting period for those on FBI watchlists seeking to buy weapons, so that the government has time to seek a court order to block the sale if need be.
The second Republican proposal aimed to improve the background check system. Democrats rejected both GOP measures.
The Senate voted on similar measures in the wake of the December 2012 Connecticut school massacre and the San Bernardino attacks last year, but to no avail.