Senate leader says new weapons ban won’t pass
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that a proposed ban on semi-automatic firearms modeled after military assault weapons has no chance of passing the Senate, but he wants to ensure a vote on it will take place.
The proposal to update a similar 1994 ban that expired a decade later was one of four measures passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to the Connecticut school massacre in December.
Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters he won’t keep the proposed ban in gun legislation going to the full Senate for consideration because including it would guarantee the measure would be blocked by a Republican filibuster.
The ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association, Republicans and some Democrats would get fewer than 40 votes, Reid said, far below the threshold needed to defeat a filibuster or pass the Senate.
Instead, Feinstein could propose the ban as an amendment to the gun legislation on the Senate floor in order to get a vote on it, Reid said.
The other proposals passed by the Senate committee would expand background checks, toughen laws against gun trafficking and straw purchases, and design steps to improve school safety.
CNN’s Tom Cohen contributed to this report.