New Assault Weapons Ban Pushed Through Committee

Before the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a new assault weapons ban by a 10-8 party line vote, freshman Texas Republican Ted Cruz challenged the bill's author, Democrat Dianne Feinstein on the Constitution. Cruz said: "The question I would pose to the senior Senator from California is, would she deem it consistent with the bill of rights for congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the 2nd amendment in the context of the first or fourth amendment?"

Senate veteran Feinstein was not amused, Feinstein said: "I'm not a sixth grader Senator, I've been on this committee for 20 years. I've studied the constitution myself, I'm reasonably well-educated and I thank you for the lecture."

Those fireworks were not shocking considering the emotion on both sides over gun control. This legislation is the most controversial of the four considered by the judiciary committee following the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, which left 20 children and adults dead.

The measure would ban the manufacture, sale, or use of 157 firearms. It would also limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. A leading republican says it isn't fair to law-abiding citizens seeking protection. John Cornyn said: "It's not much satisfaction to say that criminals are going to have access to the whole range of weapons that they will have access to, because they don't care about the laws that are passed and we're going to give the American citizen a pea shooter to defend themselves with."

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney called this legislation an important part of the President's effort to curb gun violence, and called for more action. Carney said: "We urge Congress to swiftly vote on and pass this legislation and other common sense measures like requiring background check for all gun purchases, and cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchasing." 



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