Citizens More Endangered Than Ever Before: Assault Weapons Ban Passes Senate Committee… Wait Maybe Not

feinsteinSenator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazine ban was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. According to Fox News, the 10-8 vote went strictly along party lines with the 10 Democrats on the committee voting in the affirmative. The ban was the last of four gun-related bills to be passed by the committee, including:

  • Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) illegal gun-trafficking statute
  • Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) school safety bill
  • Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) “universal background check” legislation

Feinstein’s bill is the most controversial and heavily opposed of the four. After the committee approval, the assault weapons bill is headed to the senate for consideration. Political experts and Senator Feinstein believe that the bill has a low chance of passing the full Senate.

“The road is uphill. I fully understand that,” Feinstein said. “My passion comes from what I’ve seen on the streets…I cannot get out of my mind trying to find the pulse in someone and putting my fingers in a bullet hole.”

The New York Times reports that amendments to the ban offered by John Cornyn (R-TX) were voted down in the hearing. The amendments would have allowed exemptions from the ban for victims of sexual assault, recipients of protection orders, and those who live on the southwest border of the country. Cornyn commented that he respected Senator Feinstein’s conviction, but would continue to reject the…

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UPDATE:

After posting this up on the website news headlines broke that Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban won’t be included in the Democratis gun bill.  ABC6.com reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided that a proposed assault weapons ban won’t be part of a gun control bill the Senate plans to debate next month, the sponsor of the ban said Tuesday, a decision that means the ban stands little chance of survival.

Instead, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she will be able to offer her ban on the military-style firearms as an amendment. Feinstein is all but certain to need 60 votes from the 100-member Senate to prevail, but she faces solid Republican opposition and likely defections from some moderate Democrats.

“I very much regret it,” Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters of Reid’s decision. “I tried my best.”

Feinstein, an author of the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired after a decade, said that Reid, D-Nev., told her of the decision on Monday.

There are 53 Democrats in the Senate, plus two independents who usually vote with them.

An assault-type weapon was used in the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that revived gun control as a top issue in Washington. Banning those firearms was among the proposals President Barack Obama made in January in response to those slayings.

The assault weapons ban was the most controversial of the major proposals to restrict guns that have been advanced by Obama and Senate Democrats. Because of that, it had been expected that the assault weapons measure would be left out of the initial package the Senate considers, with Democrats hoping the Senate could therefore amass the strongest possible vote for the overall legislation.

Having a separate vote on assault weapons might free moderate Democratic senators facing re-election next year in Republican-leaning states to vote against the assault weapons measure, but then support the remaining overall package of gun curbs.

Gun control supporters consider a strong Senate vote important because the Republican-run House has shown little enthusiasm for most of Obama’s proposals.

Feinstein said Reid told her there will be two votes.

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