Assault Weapons Ban Goes Down in Flames

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) lost her push today for renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban. Feinstein, who authored a similar law in 1994, made a plea during her short speech on the floor prior to the vote, but acknowledged that she knew “how this was going to end.”

The amendment targeted semi-automatic firearms simply because of cosmetics and dubbed them as “assault weapons.” Supporters of the amendment tried to make it sound like it the guns being targeted were automatic weapons or machine guns. Those types of weapons are already banned by law.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) noted that the Assault Weapons Ban didn’t prevent Columbine and wouldn’t have prevented Newtown. He also warned that passing the amendment could lead would open the door for further abuses of the Bill of Rights.

The Senate overwhelming voted against Feinstain’s Assault Weapons Ban by a vote of 40 to 60. The only Republican to support the amendment was Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). Twelve Democrats, most of which are from red states, opposed the ban — Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Joe Donnelley (D-IN), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Pryor (D-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Max Baucus (D-MT).

The two biggest parts of the package pushed by President Obama — background checks and the Assault Weapons Ban — have been struck down. That’s a lot of political capital wasted with nothing to show for it.


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