Attorney General Eric Holder has backed off calls to once again ban assault weapons after a strong blowback from the gun lobby, Newsweek reports. Mexico is pressuring the US to reinstate such a ban, since US assault rifles make up 90% of drug-cartel arsenals. But when Holder floated the idea last month, the National Rifle Association triggered “action alerts” to its members.
Soon, 65 House Democrats, along with Montana’s Democratic Senators, signed a letter saying they’d oppose. Sen. Max Baucus even issued a press release entitled, “Senators to Attorney General Holder: Stay Away From Our Guns.” The White House, eager to avoid a fight on Capitol Hill, told Holder to back down. Expect an awkward situation when the attorney general visits Mexico next week.