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Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Assault Weapons Ban

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Assault Weapons Ban


The Senate Judiciary Committee passed California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s renewed assault-weapons ban. The bill passed along party lines, 10-8 and will head to the Senate floor.

Magazines carrying more than 10 rounds and semi-automatic weapons with a detachable magazine and at least one military feature will be banned. There are 157 weapons named in the bill, but Feinstein did exclude 2,258 rifles and shotguns used by hunters. Weapons bought before the bill are exempt.

The bill will face more scrutiny on the Senate floor. The Democrats will need 60 votes out of 100 in order for it pass. The NRA plans on keeping pressure on the senators to uphold the second amendment. There are six Democrats from Republican-leaning states who face re-election next year and they could provide the deciding votes.

Feinstein was the main author of the 1994 assault-weapons ban. It expired in 2004 and the Republican controlled Senate and House did not renew it.

Opponents of the bill say this will put a slight dent in gun violence. According to the FBI, in 2010, handguns were used in 6,009 murders. Rifles, shotguns, other guns, and firearms (not stated) were used in a combined 2,766 murders.

If approved in the Senate it will head to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. It is expected to be dead on arrival. 

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