Photo via ATF.

Photo via ATF.

A federal gun-control law that would have expanded background checks to cover gun shows and online purchases failed to pass in the U.S. Senate today.

Senators voted 54-46 on the Manchin-Toomey amendment named in favor of its chief architects. The amendment needed 60 votes to move ahead. Four Republicans supported it, and four Democrats voted no, reports the Washington Post.

Also defeated was Sen. Dianne Feinstein's amendment to institute a new assault weapons ban and limit on magazine capacity. The Senate also rejected the Grassley amendment that would have required inclusion of criminal and adjudicated mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS). The Grassley amendment was supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

The NSSF, which puts on the SHOT Show each January, promised to continue support the Grassley amendment to "provide law enforcement with additional tools they need to arrest and prosecute illegal firearms traffickers and straw purchasers."

Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) announced the deal April 10 as victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting headed to Washington, D.C. to voice support for gun-violence measures.

The National Rifle Association voiced strong opposition to the legislation and Vice President Joe Biden skipped former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's memorial service to lobby his colleagues.

President Obama said the gun lobby and its allies "willfully lied" about the bill, reports the Associated Press.