The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a hugely controversial ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, but the measure faces nearly certain defeat on the Senate floor.
The proposal, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), bans 157 different models of assault weapons, as well as magazines containing more than 10 bullets.
The vote was 10 to 8, with all Democrats supporting it and all Republicans opposed.
The Senate now faces a floor fight in coming weeks over Democrats’ push to dramatically alter U.S. gun laws for the first time in two decades. While the Feinstein assault weapons ban is unlikely to overcome GOP opposition and get a vote — as well as concerns from red state Democrats up for reelection in 2014 — Democrats and the White House will continue their drive to enact universal background checks on all gun sales.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, acknowledged that the assault weapons ban will have a hard time overcoming opposition.
“It’s pretty clear the other side is locked in opposition [to assault weapons ban.] — [I] don’t see us getting 60 votes,” Whitehouse said, referring to the necessary bar to pass the Senate.
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