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Newtown families devastated by 'heartbreaking' failure on gun reform

A sister of a Newtown, Conn., victim called the Senate's failure to reach a compromise on background checks "heartbreaking."

A sister of a Newtown, Conn., victim called the Senate's failure to reach a compromise on background checks "heartbreaking."

"We also had hope that it could go through, but it didn't go the way we wanted," Carlee Soto said Thursday morning on The Daily Rundown. "It was heartbreaking to see our senators pretty much say, 'OK, you're loved ones died. Oh well.'"

Despite a massive public relations and political campaign by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the families of Newtown gun victims, the Senate failed to pass the gun bill Wednesday afternoon. It failed 54-46, short of the 60 needed votes.

Soto, the sister of teacher Victoria Soto who died in December's school shooting, said she will "keep fighting...until change is made."

"It's a horrible feeling and we don't want anyone else to have to feel this pain that we have to feel," she said.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul this week said gun control is a reasonable issue for political debate, but said the president has used the Newtown victims' families as props. Anyone who thinks that is "absurd," said Soto, before adding that the president is standing with them to fight for their loved ones.

Republicans who voted in favor of the amendment were Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona. Democrats who voted against the legislation included Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Begich of Alaska.

Begich, Pryor, and Baucus all face re-election next year.

The Democrats who voted against the bill live in "gun-friendly" states. Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor said Wednesday he would oppose Manchin-Toomey because it's "too broad, unworkable and unreasonable for hunters and gun owners in our state."

On April 4, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed the state's bipartisan gun control bill into law. The historic legislation requires universal background checks for all firearms purchasers and adds more than 100 firearms to Connecticut's existing ban on assault weapons.

"We're not going away," Soto said. "We will fight this until change is made."