ALERT!!! Senate Dems Poised to Advance Gun Ban, Seek Obama's Help in NRA Battle!!!!!!
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats are poised to pass a renewed and strengthened assault-weapons ban out of committee Thursday as part of a package of measures advancing to the floor, but are appealing to President Obama to help battle opposition from Republicans and gun-rights supporters.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, after advancing bills earlier in the week to enact near-universal background checks and combat gun trafficking, on Thursday morning will take up what is arguably the most controversial measure drafted since the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein's effort to revive an assault-weapons ban, as well as a ban on large-capacity magazines, has revived a tense debate over gun rights in Washington and across the country. The panel seemed likely to approve the measure Thursday on a party-line vote. But once it reaches the full Senate -- probably in April -- the measure faces heavy opposition by Republicans and some moderate Democrats, as well.
Feinstein acknowledged she'd need more backing if it is to stand a chance on the floor -- even then, it's hard to imagine a circumstance where the Republican-controlled House would allow the measure to proceed.
"I'd like to see everybody doing more," bill sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Wednesday when asked if she'd like more assistance from Obama. "Yes, absolutely, we need help. We have the 800-pound gorilla out there" -- a reference to the potent National Rifle Association.
Obama made an assault weapons ban part of the gun curbs he proposed in January, a month after a shooter with an assault rifle killed 20 first-graders and six educators at a school in Newtown, Conn. Feinstein and others have argued that such firearms are used in a disproportionate number of mass shootings and shouldn't be available to civilians.