U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s proposal to expand background check requirements to firearms purchases made at gun shows and online will not part of any federal gun control legislation.
The compromise amendment Sen. Manchin, a Democrat, and Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, offered last week was rejected with a 54 to 46 vote from the U.S. Senate on Wednesday afternoon.
Sixty votes were needed to avoid a filibuster.
Sen. Manchin says those against the proposal made the most noise in the days leading up to the vote. “That is a very small minority but, boy, can they talk. They’re very loud,” he said on the Senate floor on Wednesday morning.
While on the floor, he held up his National Rifle Association membership card and claimed those with the gun lobby group were telling “lies” when claiming his proposal would not allow for gun transfers among family members.
President Barack Obama, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in 2011, and U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller were among those reportedly working to secure the needed Senate votes for the Manchin-Toomey Amendment.
“The options are before us: take a stand and pass reasonable legislation that starts to keep guns out of dangerous hands, or do nothing for the children whose lives have been cut unimaginably short, for the parents, siblings and classmates who will forever ache, and for those we just might be able to save,” Senator Rockefeller said in a statement.
Senator Manchin says the people he represents in West Virginia understand the change he was trying to make.
“They’ve heard all of this hogwash out there and all the lies and people trying to misrepresent and, when you talk to them, over 80% of them Madame President, said ‘I agree with you. You’re right,’” he said on the floor.
The Manchin-Toomey Amendment was one of more than half a dozen amendments offered to the larger firearms bill that was written as a response to the December shootings of 26 people, most of them kids, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Leading Senate Democrats had originally proposed universal background checks for gun purchases.