Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has announced that the ban on assault weapons has been removed from the proposed comprehensive gun control bill. The ban, based on the 1994 — 2004 law which banned the sale of firearms described as "assault weapons" and ammunition magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, was one of four measures passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut took the lives of 20 young children and 6 adults.
The proposed ban has been dropped from the legislation heading to the full Senate for debate because it was expected to receive at most 40 votes — far below the threshold to even pass the Senate, let alone defeat the filibuster that would be all but guaranteed had the ban remained.
The ban's sponsor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, could still offer it as an amendment to the gun control bill on the Senate floor in order for it to be voted on. She has, however, acknowledged that the other provisions of the proposed legislation might have a better chance of passing with the controversial assault weapons ban removed.
Those three remaining measures include a universal background check required for all gun sales, strengthen laws against straw purchasers and firearms trafficking, and steps to help improve school safety.
According to Reid, the floor debate on the bill is scheduled to begin shortly after the Senate's upcoming recess in April.
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