Blumenthal on Gun Laws: ‘America Won’t Take No for an Answer’

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks at a news briefing after the Senate defeated a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on firearms purchases and close the so-called gun show loophole.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the state where 20 elementary school students were gunned down in December, says that advocates of new gun legislation are not giving up after being unable to overcome a Republican-led filibuster to expand background checks of gun purchasers.

“The Senate said no to America. But America won’t take no for an answer,” Blumenthal said in an interview. “We’re coming back.”

He said supporters, including families of the victims in Newtown, Connecticut, are not going away. “As one of the families’ members said, `We’re not even close to being done.”’

With polls showing 90 percent of Americasn backing expanded background checks, supporters of background checks say that yesterday’s vote continues to show the power of the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, despite losing most of the congressional races it spent money in last year.

Former Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, said that opposition to background checks was motivated by a lot more than whether a senator would receive NRA support in the next election.

“Serious people asked a serious question: Does the solution fit the problem/” said Kyl, now at the lawyer-lobbying firm Covington & Burling LLP. Kyl did not seek re-election last year.

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