Gun Laws & Legislation
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, to introduce legislation on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, to introduce legislation on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  

Feinstein’s assault weapons ban is dead

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that he will not include California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban in his gun control legislation.

Reid said that an assault weapons ban, which would be able to pass with a simple majority, would have less than 40 votes in the Senate.

Democrats control 53 Senate seats and also count independents Bernie Sanders and Angus King in their caucus, meaning that at least 15 members of the Democratic caucus did not get on board with the assault weapons ban.

Many red-state Democratic senators up for re-election were fearful of supporting the ban, which, as history indicates, would make them politically vulnerable. Former Democratic Nebraska Sen. Dan Glickman, for instance, was seen to have lost his Senate seat for voting for President Clinton’s original 1994 assault weapons ban.

The pro-Obama messaging organization Organizing for America, headed by Jim Messina, hinted that the ban would not be introduced. Organizing for America stated in February that it supported background checks and other gun control measures, but did not include an assault weapons ban in its political objectives.

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