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article imageObama's gun ban misses target in Democrat Senate

By Larry Clifton     Mar 19, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Like his past budget proposals, President Barack Obama has failed to get enough support for his assault weapons ban to pass the Democrat-led Senate, let alone the Republican-led House.
Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged there was not enough support for it in the Senate, dealing a major setback to White House gun control plans.
Democrats, defending more Senate seats in 2014 elections than Republicans, signaled that they will not stand behind their president in nearly large enough numbers to pass his gun control legislation next month.
Mr. Obama’s plan would ban what the administration deems assault weapons even though his administration oversaw a gun-running program that put assault weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels during the infamous Fast-and-Furious government gun-running operation.
Lawmakers argue that bringing back a ban that ran out in 2004 infringes on Americans' constitutional right to bear arms.
"Right now," Reid told reporters, the bill by Senator Dianne Feinstein to renew the ban "has less than 40 votes" in the 100-member chamber.
Democrats control the Senate 55 to 45, meaning that a very significant number of Senate Democrats do not agree with Obama’s plan and have made it clear that they would vote accordingly.
The ban on assault weapons like the one used in the Connecticut shooting is one of four gun control bills that the Democratic-led Judiciary Committee has sent to the full Senate.
A gun violence measure to provide funding for school security is set to pass the Senate while an effort to expand background checks on gun buyers has run into opposition from lawmakers. A fourth plan would make it a federal crime to purchase a firearm on behalf of someone who is barred from owning one, however critics say it would be too difficult for a gun seller to know who is allowed to buy a weapon and who is not.
Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said there was plenty to be done about control gun violence without weapons bans.
"We look forward to working with members of Congress on securing our schools, reforming our mental health care system, and prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent of the law - proposals that will make a real difference," Cox said.
More about obama gun ban, obama gun sales, National rifle association, harry reid senate budget, obama fast and furious
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