Senate Gun Bill May Not Touch Assault Weapons

But Reid camp looking to get measure to floor next month

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2013 8:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Senate Democrats are hoping to put a gun control bill on the floor by next month—but it's not likely to include the assault-weapon ban President Obama has urged, a Harry Reid aide tells the Wall Street Journal. Outside of that, however, it would cover most of the measures the president has supported, including a limit on ammunition magazine capacity; gun-show and private-transaction background checks; a crackdown on sales to people with mental illnesses; and measures restricting sales to out-of-state consumers seeking to take advantage of weaker gun laws.

As for the assault weapon ban, Democrats fear it may be biting off more than they can chew. But once the bill reaches the floor, amendments could add bans on some semiautomatic weapons, the Journal notes.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters after a weekly Democratic strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters after a weekly Democratic strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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