Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2013 file photo, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Feinstein, the sponsor of a proposed assault weapons ban says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has told her that the ban will not be part of the initial gun control measure the Senate will debate next month. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
No assault weapons ban – not even in Dems’ bill
First Published Mar 19 2013 03:12 pm • Last Updated Mar 19 2013 03:20 pm

Washington • All but ending chances for an assault weapons ban, Democratic leaders said Tuesday the firearms legislation the Senate will debate next month won’t include the provision that gun-control advocates pressed for after an assault-type weapon was used in the Newtown school shootings in December.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he wanted to bring a gun bill to the full Senate that would have enough support to overcome any GOP attempts to prevent debate from even starting. He expressed concern that including the assault weapons provision might effectively block passage of any bill at all.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

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

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

Reid said that "using the most optimistic numbers," there were less than 40 votes for Feinstein’s ban. That is far less than the 60 needed to begin considering legislation.

"I’m not going to try to put something on the floor that won’t succeed. I want something that will succeed. I think the worst of all worlds would be to bring to something to the floor and it dies there," Reid said.

Feinstein, an author of the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired after a decade, said that Reid 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.


story continues below
story continues below

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.

One would be on her assault weapons ban, which also includes a ban on ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The second would just be on prohibiting the high-capacity magazine clips.

Many Democrats think the ban on large-capacity magazines has a better chance of getting 60 votes than the assault weapons ban.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved four gun control measures this month, including Feinstein’s barring assault weapons and high capacity magazines. The others would expand required federal background checks for firearms buyers, increase federal penalties for illegal gun trafficking and boost school safety money.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.