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Ohio senators split on gun background checks

Ohio’s two senators were divided on the gun amendment voted on in the Senate, with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio supporting the background check amendment and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, opposing it.

Portman said afterward that he did not believe it would have prevented “the kind of heartbreaking loss of life seen in Newtown or in other recent tragic incidents.”“It does, however, contain several provisions that would make it more difficult for law-abiding Ohioans to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights,” he said. “I do believe there are actions Congress can and should take to reduce gun violence without infringing on Second Amendment rights, and I look forward to supporting such amendments.”

Brown said “it’s a sad day when the U.S. Senate doesn’t have the votes to pass an idea supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans. Universal background checks ensure responsible gun ownership and protect the second amendment, our children, and our communities.”

They voted as survivors of mass shootings sat in the gallery. One shouted “Shame on you!” when it was clear the measure would be defeated.

Erica Lafferty, who lost her mother, Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, in the Newtown shootings, said she expected the amendment to go down. Many senators, she said, told her that background checks would not have stopped her mother from being killed.

“It’s not going to bring my mom back. I get that,” she said. “But background checks might make sure another 27 year old doesn’t have to get married in two months without a mom.”

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