harry reid

Reid guts Senate gun control bill

by Alexander Bolton and Jonathan Easley, The Hill  |  published on March 21, 2013

The gun control bill headed for the Senate floor bears little resemblance to the far-reaching proposal President Obama unveiled after the deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has decided the federal assault weapons ban will not be a part of the base bill, and warned Tuesday an expansion of background checks to cover private sales might not make the cut either.

Instead, a bipartisan measure cracking down on straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms will serve as the foundation of firearms legislation.

That is a significant blow to Obama, who recently touted that the Senate Judiciary Committee had advanced “three of the most important elements of my proposal to help reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”

Obama’s three pillars have been reduced to one, with the bill facing an uncertain future in the GOP-led House.

Tuesday’s developments are a major win for the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), which launched a massive lobbying effort soon after a Connecticut gunman killed 27 people, including 20 children, last December. Obama later called that day the worst of his presidency.

Reid said the assault weapons ban sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which faces staunch opposition from the gun rights group, could have sunk the entire legislative effort.

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