“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Senator Feinstein told reporters today after learning that the assault weapons ban would not be included in the upcoming gun legislation. “The enemies on this are very powerful,” she said “I’ve known that all my life.”
Not all is lost, however, on firearm legislation, which will be met with a vote in the Senate next month. The broadening of background checks, as well as a proposed law to increase the penalty up to twenty-five years in prison for gun traffickers, both appear to be receiving increased support.
Feinstein has requested a second vote on one specific part of the measure that would ban multi-round magazine clips for assault weapons. That amendment to the bill appears likely to pass.
Senate Majority Leader Reid, himself a member of the National Rifle Association told Feinstein that the stand-alone assault weapons ban had been rejected. Reid has spoken openly about his ties with the NRA, and he had voted against the ban repeatedly. Feinstein responded to reporters, “the leader has decided not to do it. You will have to ask him.”
Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Obama have all been in favor of the assault weapons ban, which was allowed to expire under President G.W. Bush. [Read about the ban’s history here.]