The Senate has rejected a Republican plan that would have required most states to recognize permits other states issue that allow people to carry concealed firearms.
The vote was a win for gun control forces, which have been battling the National Rifle Association and gun-rights forces over the issue for years.
Opponents say the plan would let people from states with loose requirements for the permits bring weapons into states with tougher standards.
Gun rights advocates say people with such permits should be able to carry concealed weapons elsewhere.
Every state but Illinois plus the District of Columbia currently issues concealed carry permits. Under the measure, states that issue the permits would have had to honor those issued by others.