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Apr 18, 2013 6:20 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Local gun rights supporters relieved by Senate vote

TUCSON - Supporters of gun rights are temporarily relieved after the US Senate rejected an amendment requiring background checks on more gun sales.

It failed by 6 votes. Arizona Senator John McCain voted in favor of the measure, while his fellow Republican Jeff Flake voted no.

Ken Rineer is the President of Gun Owners of Arizona and was happy with the narrow victory.

"You're never safe," Rineer said. "You may be able to relax for a day or two, but you got to keep your eyes and ears open."

Many gun control supporters say the politicians listened to the gun lobby instead of the people.

"We're all people as well," Rineer said, "and we have a voice. They tried to stifle that voice. For the time being, we proved that our voice is a little bit stronger."

Several survivors of the January 8, 2011 Tucson mass shooting travelled to Washington to watch the vote in person.

Patricia Maisch, the woman credited with preventing the Tucson shooter from reloading, yelled, "Shame on you," provoking Vice President Joe Biden to ask for order.

Bill Badger was struck by a bullet on January 8, 2011. He was also in the Senate Chambers.

"NRA put in too much money for their campaigns and that's why they voted," Badger said, "but they're going to find out if they don't represent the people, they're not going to be re-elected."

Gabby Giffords used Twitter to write, "Senate ignored will of the people and rejected background checks. I'm not giving up. Constituents will know they obeyed gun lobby and not them."

Giffords also wrote an op-ed for the New York Times saying she would do everything she can to get a new Congress if the current one opposed change.

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