WASHINGTON - One day after a mass shooting in California that killed 14 people and wounded 21, Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate jousted on Thursday over gun control but again failed to advance legislation addressing the violence.
Democrats tried to expand background checks to those purchasing weapons at gun shows and through intrastate Internet transactions. They also proposed closing a loophole allowing people on "terror watch lists" to buy guns and explosives.
Both efforts failed in the face of heavy Republican opposition.
Republicans said the government could mistakenly place innocent people on watch lists, denying them their constitutional rights to purchase guns. The influential National Rifle Association has also advanced that argument.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn failed to win an alternative putting gun sales on hold for 72 hours for people on watch lists. Critics have said such background checks could take longer to complete.
The FBI is trying to determine whether the couple suspected of the shootings at the attack in Southern California on Wednesday had links to Islamic militant groups.