Senate votes 46-54 against banning high capacity ammunitions clips

“This amendment would save lives by helping to deprive mass murderers of a key means of massacre," Blumenthal said before his amendment failed. "Mass shooters know that high-capacity magazines allow them to take more lives, more rapidly.”

Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Joe Donnelley (Ind.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) were the red-state Democrats who voted against the amendment. GOP Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.) supported the high capacity clip ban.

The high capacity clip ban did slightly better than the assault weapons ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feintein (D-Calif.). Her amendment failed on a 40-60 vote.

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The Senate is considering S.649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, crack down on gun trafficking and beef up security in schools. Some GOP senators have said the bill goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun-owners.

Ahead of the vote, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he thought the magazine limit would fail.

“One bullet in the hands of a crazy person is too many, which is why I will oppose a magazine limit,” Graham said. “At the end of the day the magazine limitation is going to fail because it does not address the problem.”

Democrats have been pushing for stricter gun laws since December, when a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six school employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Blumenthal pointed out that the shooting at Sandy Hook was able to fire more than 150 bullets in five minutes and five children were able to escape the school while the shooter was reloading.

“Children escaped the slaughter when Adam Lanza changed magazines,” Blumenthal said. “More magazine changes might have helped save more lives.”

Blumenthal said he knew his amendment would be a tough vote for some of his colleagues but he said they should imagine how hard it was for the family members of victims at Newtown to come to the U.S. Capitol and urge lawmakers to pass “commonsense” gun control reforms.

“We owe it to the families to heed their message,” Blumenthal said. “We need to do something about the guns.

“Regardless of the result today, his cause is not going away. … The Newtown families are not going away … and we are not going away … [but] unfortunately gun violence is not going away.”