Assault Weapons Ban Will Not Be Part Of Senate Gun Bill
The future of an “Assault Weapons” ban looks ever more dim now that it’s been revealed that such a proposal will not be part of the gun bill that the Senate will be taking up:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Monday that a controversial assault weapons ban will not be part of a Democratic gun bill that was expected to reach the Senate floor next month.
After a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday, a frustrated Feinstein said she learned that the bill she sponsored — which bans 157 different models of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — wouldn’t be part of a Democratic gun bill to be offered on the Senate floor. Instead, it can be offered as an amendment. But its exclusion from the package makes what was already an uphill battle an almost certain defeat.
The ban is supported by more than a dozen Senate Democrats and the White House, as well as gun-control groups.
“My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill],” Feinstein said. “It will be separate.”
Asked if she were concerned about the decision, Feinstein paused and said, “Sure. I would like to [see the bill moved], but the leader has decided not to do it.”
“You will have to ask him [Reid],” she said, when asked why the decision was made.
There’s really no doubt about what will happen to Feinstein’s bill if it’s offered as an amendment to the Senate bill. It will be defeated quite handily. As for why Reid has done this,, that’s also pretty easy to figure out. As it stands, the fate of the other provisions of the Senate bill, universal background checks and limitations on the size of magazines, are far from certain in either the Senate or the House. Adding Feinstein’s bill to the mix would almost certainly mean its defeat in the Senate. Reid is smart enough to know this and he’s also smart enough to know that the red-state Democrats up for re-election in 2014 are not going to vote in favor of Feinstein’s bill. By forcing her to introduce it as an amendment rather than making it part of the core bill, he gives them an opportunity to vote against it without voting down the entire bill. The fate of the rest of the bill is, as I noted, uncertain, especially in the House, but with this move Reid makes it more likely that at least something will pass the Senate.