On Wednesday, the Senate struck down proposed laws that would expand background checks for gun buyers online, in shows and in stores. The legislation needed 60 votes to pass but only received 54.

After a campaign to get Americans behind his new proposal, including a National Call Day, President Barack Obama reacted to the defeat before reporters. “Instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” said Obama. “They claim it would create some sort of gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry.”

The president noted that 90 percent of Americans supported the proposed gun law changes. According to him, the bill failed to pass because a minority number of Republicans voted against it. “Unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose,” said Obama. “Because those lies upset a minority of gun owners. That in turn upset and intimidated a lot of Senators.”

Watch President Obama’s remarks above. If you’re upset about today’s Senate block, join ESSENCE’s Guns Down Initiative in downloading, signing and tweeting this letter to President Obama. It’s a national movement to protect our children and get guns off the streets. You may also tweet your Senator with your opinion. Click here to get your Senator’s Twitter handle.

As President Obama said, “The effort is not over. We can still bring meaningful changes that can reduce gun violence.”

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