The Associated Press reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has officially dropped Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) assault weapons ban proposal from the Democrats’ gun regulation bill, confirming her Monday announcement to that effect. Via the New York Times:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided that a proposed assault weapons ban won't be part of a gun control bill the Senate plans to debate next month, the sponsor of the ban said Tuesday, a decision that means the ban stands little chance of survival.
Instead, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she will be able to offer her ban on the military-style firearms as an amendment. Feinstein is all but certain to need 60 votes from the 100-member Senate to prevail, but she faces solid Republican opposition and likely defections from some moderate Democrats.
Feinstein said Reid told her there will be two votes.
One would be on her assault weapons ban, which also includes a ban on ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The second would just be on prohibiting the high-capacity magazine clips. Many Democrats think the ban on large-capacity magazines has a better chance of getting 60 votes than the assault weapons ban.
The development is notable given the visibility of Senator Feinstein’s bill, but that visibility was driven by the controversial nature of firearm regulation. This controversy, and the political delicacy attending it, ultimately led Reid to cut the bill loose from a larger proposal which will include expanded background checks and measures to enhance school safety.
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