Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) wants his colleagues in Congress to know that he is appalled by the failure of the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would have mandated background checks for firearms buyers.

“What happened this afternoon in the Senate is an appalling defeat for common sense and gun safety,” Schiff said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Senate leaders must not give up the fight for universal background checks and other vital gun safety measures – gun violence victims and their families deserve a better vote and result than this.”

Schiff is a former federal prosecutor who this session introduced legislation to increase penalties on so-called straw purchasers, who buy firearms with the intent to resell them, without a background check.

Although 90% of the American people and much of the Senate supported the compromise brokered by Sens, Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), Schiff said a small number of Senators were cowed by the National Rifle Assn., leading to the 54-46 vote.

In addition to pushing for the expansion of background checks, Schiff said Congress should push for even stronger gun control measures.

“The victims of Newtown, of Aurora and other gun violence tragedies deserve a vote on a comprehensive gun safety package – including universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and extended ammunition magazines and the expanded access to mental health treatment,” he said.

-- Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.