Sen. Dianne Feinstein expressed her ‘disappointment’ Tuesday over Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to drop the assault weapons ban from the upcoming gun control bill. Reid voiced his sympathy for excluding the ban, but said that he wanted a bill that he could successfully bring to the floor and the assault weapons bill had less than 40 votes—20 shy of the 60 votes needed to break an expected filibuster.
Feinstein also wants a vote on a measure that would ban high capacity magazines for assault weapons, which is expected to have more GOP support as well.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Wednesday on Andrea Mitchell Reports that she supported the ban but also trusted Reid’s leadership on the issue.
“I personally have supported a ban on assault weapons in the past and certainly would again,” Murray said. “I support the Second Amendment rights of all citizens but I think we have to address the issue of weapons of war on our streets and do it in a wise way. Now, our majority leader has decided that if he puts that in to the base bill going forward we’ll never get a chance to debate the issue that Americans want us to talk about.”
Murray echoed Reid’s sentiments about the possibility of the Republicans blocking the bill if it included the assault weapons ban, but said “that we need to look how to reduce violence in our streets.” She agreed with Reid that the most important issue at hand was actually bringing the proposal to the floor. The Senate will vote on the ban eventually, but as an amendment.
“We will have an amendment to put the assault weapons ban back in place and I’ll support it,” said Murray. “I think the majority leader is trying to get us to a discussion in the United States Senate about this issue that plagues many communities and worries every single American citizen.”
Reid will also introduce the straw purchasing provision, which will impose strict penalties on those who purchase guns when they aren’t legally allowed to do so, and may consider adding universal background checks.
The straw purchasing provision is the only part of the legislation with enough bipartisan support to allow the gun control bill to pass.