U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey (Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

We’re outraged but not defeated. The U.S. Senate just voted not to adopt the background check legislation offered by Senators Manchin and Toomey. The Manchin-Toomey proposal, which would have required background checks for firearms sales at gun shows and sales made over the Internet, fell just 6 votes short of the 60 vote threshold needed to proceed.

While the Manchin-Toomey legislation was a bipartisan compromise bill that included several disconcerting concessions to the gun lobby, it would have been a significant step forward for background checks in America. With the failure of this legislation today, a minority of senators have prevented critical progress towards universal background checks, which are supported by 90% of Americans as well as strong majorities of gun owners and NRA members.

We are disappointed and outraged by the outcome of today’s vote, but this is not the end of the fight for stronger federal laws to protect our communities from gun violence. In fact, this is just the beginning. Over three thousand Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown. For them, for the children and teachers at Sandy Hook, and for all those who have been impacted by gun violence, we will continue to fight for the changes that we know can save lives.

While federal efforts received a setback today, there continues to be good news at the state level. Just yesterday, eleven significant bills passed out of the California State Senate’s Public Safety Committee. This victory marks a critical first step for California, and it comes after important state victories in Maryland, Connecticut, Colorado, and New York.

Just as change is happening in the states, it will come to the federal level. Now more than ever, Americans are united in agreement that our weak gun laws are simply unacceptable. The American public’s voice – calling for universal background checks and other important safety measures – will be heard in the halls of Congress.

Please stand with us in this fight. Pitch in today so we can continue to work tirelessly for safer communities.