LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says the Senate's opposition to a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers marks a shameful day in Washington. He says a minority of senators decided it wasn't worth it to protect the nation's children.

Senate Republicans, backed by rural-state Democrats, blocked legislation Wednesday to tighten restrictions on the sale of firearms, rejecting personal pleas made by families of the victims of last winter's mass elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Obama spoke in the Rose Garden shortly after the Senate vote. It marked a major blow to the gun control push Obama started in the wake of December's shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

The president pinned the blame for the measures failure, though five Democrats also opposed the plan.

Obama was introduced by the father of a 7-year-old killed in the shooting. Other families joined him in the Rose Garden, along with former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011.

Attempts to ban assault-style rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines also faced certain defeat in a series of showdown votes four months after a gunman killed 20 elementary school children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The background check measure commanded a majority of senators, 54-46, but that was well short of the 60 votes needed to advance. Forty-one Republicans and five Democrats sided together to scuttle the plan.

Read or Share this story: http://www.nwcn.com/story/news/2014/07/31/12955536/