Senate panel to take up gun control, including assault weapons ban
February 25th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate panel to take up gun control, including assault weapons ban

(CNN) – The Senate Judiciary Committee could begin considering gun control bills as soon as Thursday, including a measure that would ban military-style assault weapons.

Other pieces of legislation that will be considered by the panel are measures stopping illegal trafficking of guns, bolstering background checks on gun sales, and improving security in schools. Republicans could force a postponement of the Senate panel's mark up of gun legislation for one week.

Of the proposed bills, background checks are considered the most likely to gain Congressional approval. The assault weapons ban, which was introduced by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, is opposed by Republicans and some pro-gun Democrats.

President Barack Obama pressed Congress to pass tighter restrictions on guns in the aftermath of December's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. The four bills up for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee have all been supported by the president.

On Sunday, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is among a bipartisan group of four senators working behind the scenes on a bill to expand background checks, said a sticking point had emerged on whether to keep records on gun owners.

"I don't think we're that close to a deal," the Oklahoma Republican said on "Fox News Sunday." "There absolutely will not be record-keeping on legitimate, law-abiding gun owners in this country. If they want to eliminate the benefits of actually trying to prevent the sales to people who are mentally ill and to criminals, all they have to do is to create a record-keeping. That will kill this bill."

Coburn, who maintains an A rating with the National Rifle Association, is joined in his group by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, a longtime advocate of gun rights; and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a longtime supporter of gun control.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, was adamant Sunday that expanded background checks would not include provisions to register gun owners, but he said that responsible Americans looking to purchase firearms shouldn't fear robust checks.

"They check to see if you told the truth, and then it's cleared out," Leahy said of the current background check system, adding later that measures to register gun owners would not be part of Senate gun control legislation.

"It's not going to be registration," he said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that Republicans and gun advocates need to "lower the rhetoric and talk reality."

Filed under: Gun rights
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Pass Gun-Control laws. For the good of this nation. Never be sold out to 12 billion profit a year lobby nor to Wayne laPerrie, the nasty brainless thug. Nation needs Gun-Ban laws. Period.

    February 25, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Moose

    More wasted resources, i truly dont know who is worse the dumbocraps or the repibs

    February 25, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

    The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

    Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

    The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.

    February 25, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    Of course, what I've said tonight matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.

    It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.

    Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that's your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

    One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

    Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.

    February 25, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. The Mayor of Medinah

    I would like to see a ban on gangs... I would like to see anotional gang registry

    February 25, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. The Mayor of Medinah

    I would also like to see a ban on stupidity

    February 25, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Alex

    I was starting to think maybe just limit assault rifles but after all thats going on no way. I shot sporting clays with my son this weekend and I have never seen the gun range so packed. All this fear is causing major supply issues on specific ammo. I can get shotgun shells but some handgun and rifle cartridges are extremely hard to acquire. People are stocking up. This fear based buying to not good for anyone but it seems to help firearms dealers. All power to them – at least someone can prosper in the Statist and Chief's economy.

    February 25, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. The Mayor of Medinah

    I would like to see a ban on gang related shootings in my and the Presidents home town of Chicago..... We truley have a dip stick at the helm

    February 25, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. The Mayor of Medinah

    I would like to see a ban on gang related shootings in my and the Presidents home town of Chicago, and in all of the cities of this great nation. How about a national ban on Gang shootings, we could declare it law tomorrow and lets see what the compliance rate is.... I bet ZERO.

    I have a dream that all of the gang bangers will throw down their arms turn in their stolen weapons, stop dealing drugs, stop pimping, stop stealing, and they all join the peace core, go back to grade school, and try and get real jobs.

    Mr. President help me see this dream.

    February 25, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Terry

    The reason we bought "assault weapons" (your words, not mine) is to protect ourselves from people like the thugs in Chicago who killed 506 people last year. The same people that the Chicago Police Department is unable to enforce the city's extremely strict gun control laws upon. The same gun laws that apparently have no effect on criminals.

    February 25, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. The Mayor of Medinah

    The NRA does not provide weapons to anyone.... individual states make that choice so write your govenor if you think your state laws stink

    February 25, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. gov20cto

    Let's ban alcohol, so that no one will drink. Let's ban drugs, so that no one will get high. Let's ban guns, so that no one will get shot.

    I'll give the lawmakers one thing, they sure are persistent in the face of reality.

    February 25, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. hornetbut

    how about a ban on gangs...

    February 25, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. The Mayor of Medinah

    The libs shoud move to Cuba

    February 25, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. The Mayor of Medinah

    Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois will not longer recieve my vote of my support

    February 25, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. The Mayor of Medinah

    I will register my weapons as soon as the gang bangers do, although they are since they were all purchased in Illinois and in Illinois all legal gun purchases are tracked.

    February 25, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    For Christmas this year I want a Tomahawk and a Patriot missle. A black hawk gun ship would be nice too.

    February 25, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. 2nd amendment

    Criminals are not law bidding, so more laws would only effect the people that follow them in the first place. How about getting congress and white house on a budget instead of taking away peoples freedoms.

    February 25, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. john

    An assault weapons ban has no chance of becoming reality the sooner this is realized the sooner prices come down and we can all afford to stock up and shoot again!!!

    February 25, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. rs

    More than 2,200 Americans have been killed by guns since the Newtown massacre Dec. 14, 2012. It is time to stop the carnage.

    February 25, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Peter Syracuse

    In Chicago last year, there were 532 gun murders. Chicago has THE strictest gun control laws in our nation, bar none. 83 of those deaths were school age children, most caught by a stay bullet from a gang-banger's gun like Hadiya Pendleton was. Why don't you assault rifle banning fools go and tell the mothers of those 83 children that their lives don't really matter. Since Hadiya was killed with a revolver, it's really not that important. ALL rifles account for less than 4% of gun murders, with the black scary version being just a subset of that percentage. So the "deadly military-looking" rifle, that none of you seem to understand the workings of, actually accounts for about 2% on all gun murders. TWO. In Chicago, the gangs account for about 80% of the gun deaths. If you want to make a meaningful difference in gun violence, go after the criminals. Crack down on the gangs and their illegal weapon sources. This way you might actually do some good. None of us law abiding gun owners need or want your recommendations on which weapons to use. Try devoting one tenth of the energy you spend trying to take the guns from those who don't commit crimes, towards REAL solutions to gun crime. Hint: Gun crime is committed by CRIMINALS.

    February 25, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. billy

    look into who is doing the killing and you will find they are almost all democrats

    February 25, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Derek

    All of you who are claiming the NRA is a terrorist organization and kills children are those who have bought into the demagoguery the Obama administration. I doubt any of you making these claims have objectively examined the role of the NRA in America, which has always been to promote firearm safety. Instead of using their brain, gun control obsessors make superficial connections in rare instances of tragedy where emotion is used in lieu of reason. Seriously, what do any of these laws do to go after unlawful? Do you all remember Columbine which occurred under the first AR ban? Did you all realize there was already a ban in Newtown? Do you realize Adam Lanza murdered his own mother before going to the school? Tell me what law would have prevented a person that determined? While those of us who are lawful gun owners are sick and tired of tragedies of this nature and sick and tired of being scapegoats for these tragedies, gun control fanatics seem content to push policies that have failed again and again and only aims to punish the law abiding ultimately doing nothing to prevent any future massacres. Remember when the next massacre happens, and it will (as nothing has changed or will be changed by any proposed legislation), that you gun control freaks are the real terrorists.

    February 25, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. reality check

    I'd like to see a ban on people that believe that the 2nd amendment was enacted to protect our hunting and fishing sportsmanship.

    February 25, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. davidio

    The good about our rights, is that all of us can choose to use them or not.

    I won't try and stop you from moronically calling the NRA membership terrorists and murderers, and don't try to stop me from defending myself as I see fit.

    You can freely choose to be weaponless, and defenseless, when someone who respects no laws or rights comes to take your property or your life. If this how you choose to exercise your God given rights, then good for you.

    But, disarming me, is not what I choose to do with my life.

    Who are you to try and take my rights, for what you think, wrongly, is the correct thing to do.

    February 25, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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