Democratic Senate Gun Bill Won’t Include Assault Weapons Ban

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2013)—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he wants to bring a gun bill to the Senate with enough support to overcome any Republican efforts to block debate and Reid says that meant leaving out a proposed assault weapons ban.

Reid said even using "the most optimistic numbers," there were fewer than 40 votes for the assault weapons ban.

The sponsor of the ban, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, said she'll offer the ban as an amendment.

The decision, which was expected, means that the ban seems to stand little chance of surviving because of expected solid opposition from Republicans and likely defections from some moderate Democrats.

The ban was one of four gun control measures approved this month by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The others would expand required federal background checks for firearms buyers, increase federal penalties for illegal gun trafficking and boost school safety money.

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