Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Dianne Feinstein's amendment to reinstate assault weapons ban fails

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) takes to Senate floor

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U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), see her in a file photo, saw her assault weapons ban go down in a 60-40 vote Wednesday.

Just after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure Wednesday afternoon to expand background checks for gun buyers, it also voted against California Senator Dianne Feinstein's amendment to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

Feinstein's amendment had not been expected to pass. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) knew weeks ago there weren't enough votes for the assault weapons ban, so he removed it from the main gun control bill.

The final vote on Feinstein's amendment was 60-40 against passage.

Feinstein issued this statement after Tuesday's vote:

            “I’m disappointed by today’s vote, but I always knew this was an uphill battle. I believe the American people are far ahead of their elected officials on this issue, and I will continue to fight for a renewed ban on assault weapons.

           “The very fact that we’re debating gun violence on the Senate floor is a step in the right direction, and I hope my colleagues vote their conscience and approve the underlying bill. But I’m certain that in the coming months and years, we will be forced to confront by other incidents like Newtown, where innocents are murdered with one of these weapons of war. 

          “I will carry on this fight against military-style assault weapons, and I ask of the American people that they continue to pressure their elected officials to take action. It’s long overdue that we take serious steps to remove these dangerous firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines from society.” 

Feinstein's original assault weapons ban was in place from 1994-2004. An attempt to extend it in 2004 failed. Feinstein vowed to resume her fight after mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

In a recent speech to San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, Feinstein said: "This is a lifetime pursuit for me. If I can’t get it done this time, there will be another time."    

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