WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says she's "furious" after senators on Wednesday blocked legislation that would expand background checks for gun buyers.
Giffords is accusing senators who opposed new gun regulations of "cowardice," saying their decisions are "based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association."
The former Arizona congresswoman's remarks were published on The New York Times' op-ed page Wednesday. She has become a vocal gun control supporter since she was shot in the head at a rally near Tucson two years ago.
The proposal to expand background checks fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate. An attempt to ban assault-style rifles failed as well, along with a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
The measure endorsed Tuesday would give school districts the option to teach a National Rifle Association-sponsored gun safety program to students in first grade. SB75 would also allow schools to implement a training program for teachers and other personnel on responding to intruders.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, originally would have required schools to adopt both programs. But opposition from Democratic senators caused Brown to make the training and gun safety course optional.
The measure needs one more affirmative vote before moving to the House.