The votes followed a Senate filibuster last week that mobilized support in Congress for the issue. This came as a response to the deadly attacks in Orlando, which claimed the lives of 49 people at a gay nightclub, becoming the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Statement from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.:
“After the massacre in Orlando, my office was flooded with phone calls and emails from Virginians with one message for Congress: We don’t just want to hear thoughts and prayers on behalf of the victims – we want to see action to address gun violence. In the wake of this attack, members of Congress must be willing to take a fresh look at solutions to make our communities safer while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I know the challenges we face every day in dealing with the threat of violent terrorists determined to do our nation harm. Given those challenges, it makes absolutely no sense to me that the Senate would refuse to take these commonsense steps to strengthen our background check system and close a dangerous loophole that allows suspected terrorists to legally purchase guns.
“While no single law will end gun violence or completely protect us from terrorism, it is clear that Americans want action. I am confident that tonight’s votes will not be the last word on this matter.”
Statement from U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.:
“Today my colleagues and I were given the opportunity to cease being bystanders and finally start taking action on the issue of gun violence. The proposed measures—to prevent known or suspected terrorists from purchasing guns and to subject all private gun sales to background checks—are both commonsense and popular, and it’s appalling that we couldn’t get them passed.
“Virginians are far too familiar with the consequences of gun violence. While I was Governor, the Commonwealth witnessed what was, until last week, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. During my time in the Senate, we have seen three Virginians shot on live television. Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando, and the countless daily gun deaths that receive less attention show the dire price Americans pay for congressional inaction. I hope that my colleagues will reconsider and act on this issue before another tragedy strikes.”