Feinstein won’t give up on assault weapons ban

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein sounded pretty ticked off when she spoke on CNN a few moments ago about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pronouncing dead her effort to reinstate the federal assault-weapons ban.

Feinstein, D-Calif., said Reid, D-Nev., told her she would have an opportunity for a vote and “I take him at his word.”

More specifically, Feinstein said she left her meeting with Reid under the impression that she’d get a vote both on her overall bill and on a broken-out section that would only ban large-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

“This is very important to me and I’m not going to lay down and play dead,” she told CNN, noting polls show public support for an assault-weapons ban and her bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday on a 10-8 vote. “Not to give me a vote on this would be a major betrayal of trust, as I would see it.”

The Judiciary Committee passed the bill on a strict party-line vote, and Reid told reporters Tuesday that the proposed assault weapons ban isn’t holding up against Senate rules requiring at least 60 votes to end debate and move to final passage. It’s been known all along that Reid and several other Democratic senators from relatively conservative states probably wouldn’t support such a bill.

The White House replied that the assault-weapons ban can still be brought up as an amendment, and the votes can be found to pass it.

Polls have shown majority support for an assault weapons ban, though far weaker than that for universal background checks or a large-capacity magazine ban. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll pegged support for an assault-weapons ban at 57 percent; Quinnipiac University put it at 54 percent; and the Pew Research Center/USA Today put it at 56 percent.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR senile columnist

    Di Fi lost this round. Next round in 2014.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Senator “Facelift” made it in politics, because her superior was assassinated by an ex cop. People like Diane Feinstein, Michael Moore & the Brit on CNN, with their bodyguards, are the ultimate in hypocrisy.

  • JohnW

    Never heard that Michael Moore had a bodyguard. But I can understand it, considering that he’s from the same state as Ted Nugent. Considering the history, isn’t calling DiFi a hypocrite a bit like calling Obama a hypocrite because he advocates for gun contol while he and his family get SS protection? Public figures have exponentially greater exposure to being harmed. At any given moment, they are on somebody’s “list.” Latest example being the State of Colorado Department of Corrections chief being shot and killed outside his home today.

  • Elwood

    If all else fails, DiFi packs a .38 in her purse.

  • Josh Richman

    @4 – Not anymore.

  • Elwood

    “After the bomb failed to detonate, Feinstein explained, she decided to arm herself.”

    Nothing like a .38 to protect you against a bomb, I always say.