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U.S. Senate bill drops assault weapons ban


09:47, March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he would not include a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban in a package of gun reform legislation to be introduced in the Senate, which signals the measure still lacks enough support in Congress.

Reid told reporters that the proposed renewal of the assault weapons ban, sponsored by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, could not win even 40 votes in the Democrats-controlled Senate.

"I have to get something on the floor so we can have votes on that issue and the other issues we talked about," said Reid, adding that he would offer Feinstein's proposal separately as an amendment.

Feinstein's proposal will revive a decade-long ban on the sale of more than 150 types of military-style semi-automatic weapons, which expired in 2004.

Her measure was one of four approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee over the last two weeks. The other measures also include providing more school safety aid, expanding federal background checks on gun sales and strengthening prosecution of illegal gun traffickers.

There are 53 Democrats in the 100-member Senate, and two independents who usually vote with them. Gun control supporters and advocates believe a package of gun control legislation has better chance to pass through Senate than Republican-controlled House.

Feinstein introduced her measure in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Connecticut last December. The tragedy which took the lives of 20 children and six adults has renewed a nationwide debate over gun violence and gun control efforts.

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