In a 10-8 party-line vote, the Senate Judiciary approved the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 exactly three months after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 children and teachers. The vote paves the way for the bill to move to the floor of the Senate.
The bill, which is sponsored by Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 and Chris Murphy, would dramatically expand the definition of assault weapons and prevent their future manufacture or sale. The ban would also limit the number of rounds in a magazine.
Despite making it through the Democratic-controlled Judiciary Committee, however, the bill is not expected to pass. It faces stiff opposition from almost all Republicans and some pro-gun Democrats. Highlighting the uphill battle the legislation faces, its primary sponsor, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said Wednesday that she would like more help from President Obama in pushing the bill forward.
“I’d like to see everybody doing more,” Feinstein told U.S. News and World Report.
The bill’s approval came one day after the Judiciary Committee approved two other bills authored in the wake of the Newtown shooting: the School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 and the Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013.