Supporters of tougher gun laws did not hound Congress enough to get even widely popular reforms passed through the Senate this week, according to a number of observers on and off Capitol Hill.

Although polls show that an overwhelming majority of voters back tougher gun laws — in the case of universal background checks, the figure tops 90 percent — that support did not translate into a legislative victory this week in the Senate, where lawmakers blocked the central elements of President Obama’s strategy for fighting gun violence.

Some advocates for those reforms say the discrepancy between the polls and congressional action can be largely attributed to a simple lack of pressure from voters on their representatives. They’re warning that no changes will pass until gun control supporters become as vehement, as united — and as threatening at the polls — as the gun rights activists who oppose tougher laws.