The bill eventually cleared the Committee on a party-line 10-8 vote. It now heads to the full Senate, where it is likely to be defeated.
The session became heated when Cruz — who opposes the assault-weapons ban — questioned Feinstein on its constitutionality, comparing it to placing limits on the First Amendment or Fourth Amendment rights.
"Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?" Cruz said, speaking to Feinstein.
"Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures, could properly apply only to the following specified individuals, and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the law?"