Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says there would have been 70 votes for the plan to expand background checks for gun buyers. But the NRA said it would include the gun vote on report cards that show whether candidates support gun rights.
The Senate on Wednesday rejected the background check bill Manchin wrote with Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey.
Manchin says he also lost votes because some senators who may vote for gay rights or an immigration bill wanted to show they are still conservative.
Manchin spoke Thursday at a breakfast sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.