Washington state lawmakers shot down a bill that would have required all gun buyers to undergo background checks.
The measure failed by just a few votes, The Associated Press reported.
"It was too big a stretch for this year," said Rep. Jamie Pedersen, the Democrat who proposed the measure, AP reports.
Under current state law, background checks are only imposed when the purchase is made from a federal licensed firearms dealer, AP says. Mr. Pedersen's provision would have expanded that requirement to all gun transactions, even ones made in private.
Bill supporters seemed crushed. AP reports several Democrats were noticeably emotional after they learned the measure they spent two full days pushing had not passed. But opponents were thrilled.
The National Rifle Association had campaigned hard against the measure, saying it would do little to stop gun-related crime but rather serve as step one toward the creation of a government-run database of gun owners, AP said.
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