House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the assault weapons ban passing Congress is unlikely in an interview with the Denver Post Monday. Pelosi focused on another attainable goal—passing legislation requiring all gun buyers to get a background check.
"Where we can make the most difference is with background checks and information shared," Pelosi said. "Let's keep guns out of the wrong hands. There's more of a rally around background checks...and some (Democratic) unity around mental-health issues."
While the ban on assault weapons introduced by her fellow Californian, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, seems unlikely, Senate Democrats are expecting the ban on the production and sale of certain assault weapons to pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Once the bill passes the committee on Thursday, it is likely Republicans will launch a filibuster of the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has publicly pledged to ensure that "the Assault Weapons ban gets a vote on the floor, irrespective of whether it passe[s] judiciary or not."
On Wednesday, Pelosi, along with Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Boxer, will march with a group of mothers from across the country to push for the adoption of common sense gun laws. Nancy Pelosi also stressed in the interview that stricter background checks and bans on high-capacity magazine clips "would go a long way to protect the American people."
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill requiring all gun buyers to get a background check Tuesday.
"Look, the bottom line is that the Brady Law has been successful, extremely successful without impinging on the rights of gun owners," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Tuesday.
Progress for the bill expanding background checks for private gun purchases recently stalled after Sen. Tom Coburn withdrew his support. Coburn rejected the clause requiring private sellers to keep sales records for transactions. Since then, Schumer has begun a search for a second Republican co-sponsor.
Gun-control advocates, including Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who launched Americans for Responsible Solutions, in response to the Newtown shooting, were encouraged by the Senate's progress Tuesday.
"The Senate Judiciary Committee took a huge step toward keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill by passing universal background checks legislation that will now go to the full Senate for a vote," Kelly said in a statement. "Background checks do not and cannot lead to gun registration. It's a lie meant to muddy the debate and distract from our common goal—saving lives with solutions that Americans support overwhelmingly."