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Background check provision appears headed for defeat

Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 2:11pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bipartisan effort to expand background checks on gun purchases is facing almost certain defeat.

Just hours before the roll call, another Republican senator -- Kelly Ayotte (AY'-aht) of New Hampshire -- declared that she would vote against the measure. The announcement, along with opposition from other Republicans and some moderate Democrats, left supporters heading toward defeat unless they could turn votes around.

Rejection of the amendment would be a jarring setback for gun control advocates. They'd been hoping that December's killings of 20 children and six staff members at a Connecticut elementary school would sway Congress to take action to curb gun violence.

The Democratic co-sponsor of the background check provision, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, says, "We need more votes."

As support for tougher gun control measures appears to wane in the Senate, the same situation appears to be taking hold among Americans. An Associated Press-GfK poll taken this month found 49 percent of those surveyed supporting stricter gun laws. That was down from 58 percent who said so in the weeks after the Connecticut shootings.

%@AP Links

200-a-12-(Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in remarks)-"deserve these votes"-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate should approve expanded background checks and other gun control measures. (17 Apr 2013)

<> 00:12 "deserve these votes"

202-a-11-(Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at news conference)-"private gun sales"-Senator Ted Cruz says the expanded background-check proposal is the wrong way to try to stop criminals. ((longer version of cut in wrap)) (17 Apr 2013)

<> 00:11 "private gun sales"

APPHOTO WX101: This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. using a poster of weapons as she speaks about gun legisalation, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington. A bipartisan effort to expand background checks was in deep trouble Wednesday as the Senate approached a long-awaited vote on the linchpin of the drive to curb gun violence. (AP Photo/Senate Television) (17 Apr 2013)

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