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Senate gun bill won't include assault weapons ban


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he hopes have a bill to address gun violence on the Senate floor soon after the Easter break, but confirmed that measure will not include the assault weapons ban.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters Tuesday she is disappointed that her assault weapons ban will not be part of a larger bill, but acknowledged it will likely make it easier to pass gun-related legislation through the Senate.

Feinstein said Reid told her Monday afternoon that the ban on certain types of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would not be part of package of bills that would make up the Senate legislation.

Reid, D-Nev., said Feinstein's measure simply did not have the support necessary to clear the floor and could not pass the 60-vote threshold needed in order to be considered by the full Senate.

"Right now, her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That's not 60," he told reporters. "I have to get something on the floor so we can have votes on that issue and the other issues."

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed three other measures, in addition to the assault weapons ban, over the past two weeks that are expected to be considered in some form on the Senate floor.

These measures include bills to strengthen federal penalties for trafficking and straw purchases, improve school safety and require background checks for nearly every firearm purchase.

Feinstein's ban will be voted on as an amendment to the larger package.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed, because if was in the package, it would take 60 votes to get it out. You know, the enemies on this are very powerful. I've known that all my life," she said. As an amendment, it will require a majority of Senators to vote to add it to the bill.


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