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Friday, March 15, 2013

The Way Forward for Gun Control in the Senate

Roll Call has this article today that says the focus now turns to Harry Reid as he must consider how to bring the four bills reported out of Senate Judiciary to the full Senate.
Still unclear is whether all of the gun legislation reported by the Judiciary Committee will be considered on the Senate floor and whether it would come up as a package or in individual parts.

Reid has to figure out how to bow to the President's desire, repeated yesterday, that the victims of recent shootings "deserve a vote" while protecting his vulnerable members up for re-election in 2014.

Many beleive the so-called "assault weapons" ban is dead on arrival.  But the bill includes a ban on standard capacity magazines, referred to as "high capacity" magazines.  Some think if that part was split off into a separate piece of legislation, that it might garner the necessary 60 votes to clear a filibuster and pass. 
During Thursday’s markup, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., floated the idea of splitting Feinstein’s bill into two in order to boost the prospects for getting close to the 60-vote threshold needed to thwart a filibuster in the Senate.

The duo voiced support for holding a separate floor vote on the ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines contained in Feinstein’s bill. They suggested that the measure could garner sufficient support if untethered from the larger proposal to reinstate and expand the federal assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004.
And that is just one danger still ahead for gun owners.  The more we hear that the so-called "assault-weapons" ban cannot pass, the greater the concern is that complacency will set in.  This fight is not over until it is over.  And folks, it has only begun. Now that we have the bill numbers on which to focus, we must redouble our efforts to defeat them all.  Please reference the specific bill numbers in your letters, emails, and phone calls to congress.

The bills in question are: "Assault weapons" bill (S 150), "Gun trafficking" (S 54)" and Schumer's bill criminalizing private sales (S 374).

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