Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued the following statement in response to the Senate's defeat of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks:
"Today, as families of the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School looked on, a minority of United States Senators refused to stand up to the leaders of the National Rifle Association and voted against legislation to prevent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing guns.
"Make no mistake about it, this legislation would not have restricted the rights of law-abiding gun owners; it would not have taken away anyone's guns; and it would not have banned any type of firearm or magazine. It would have closed a loophole in the existing background check system, an important step in addressing gun violence.
"91 percent of Americans and the majority of NRA members support background checks. The Republican and Democratic Senators who voted against this bipartisan legislation failed our children and families.
"While I am deeply disappointed in the outcome of today's vote, I will continue to fight for gun safety laws that respect the rights of responsible gun owners and include universal background checks."