White House Urges Congress to Pass the Assault Weapons Ban
WASHINGTON - The White House is urging Congress to swiftly pass the assault weapons ban that cleared a Senate panel today on a party-line vote.
But it faces tough odds, after today's 10-to-8 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The panel approved the measure after rejecting a series of Republican amendments. The amendments would have exempted victims of sexual abuse, people living along the Southwest border and others from the assault weapons ban.
President Barack Obama made the ban part of the gun curbs he proposed in January, a month after the deadly shootings at a Connecticut elementary school. An assault weapons ban became law in 1994, but Congress failed to renew it.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says Obama acknowledges that his gun control measures face tough odds. But he argues that the measures won't take guns away from law-abiding citizens.
Senator Ted Cruz asks Senator Feinstein if she'd support the same kinds of exceptions in the First Amendment that her gun control bill contains.
The President made the following statement:
"I thank the Senate for taking another step forward in our common effort to help reduce gun violence by advancing a bill that would reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and set a 10-round limit for magazines. These weapons of war, when combined with high-capacity magazines, have one purpose: to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible. They are designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.
The Senate has now advanced legislation addressing three of the most important elements of my proposal to help reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Now the full Senate and the House need to vote on this bill, as well as the measures advanced in the past week that would impose serious penalties on anyone who buys a gun as part of a scheme to arm criminals, improve school safety, and help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, people with a severe mental illness, and others who shouldn't have them. Each of these proposals deserves a vote."