House Dem: Assault weapons ban unlikely without Senate action

Updated
Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at the White House on Thursday.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at the White House on Thursday.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Despite a push by Vice President Joe Biden for action on gun control legislation at House Democrats’ annual retreat on Wednesday, there is an sense shared by some members that a vote on an assault weapons ban is unlikely in the House without Senate action first.

When asked by Chuck Todd on The Daily Rundown Thursday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., agreed that no vote in the House could happen until the Senate first passed an assault weapons bill, but she did suggest that other bills could find traction in the House.

“I think you could see a vote on making trafficking in guns a felony. I think you could see a vote on increasing the penalty on straw purchasers,” said Maloney.

“You could see a vote on background checks–even Eric Cantor came out with encouraging support this week,” said Maloney about the House Republican leader.

Maloney’s assessment comes less than 24 hours after Vice President Biden implored Democrats push for stricter gun laws.

“I can imagine how we will be judged as individuals, we will be judged as a Congress, we will be judged as a nation if we do nothing,” Biden told the group. “It’s simply unacceptable.”

But the chances of an assault weapons ban passing through the Democrat-controlled Senate are looking increasingly grim. On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid balked at a chance to support his Democratic colleague Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill to ban 150 military-style weapons, admitting that he had not read the amendment.

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House Dem: Assault weapons ban unlikely without Senate action

Updated