Legislation aimed to curb gun violence caused by assault weapons was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, the panel's fourth meeting in which legislation related to gun violence was considered.
The Committee approved, by a vote of 10 to 8, legislation authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of certain assault weapons. The bill also limits the magazine capacity of semiautomatic rifles and handguns. Feinstein's measure is the fourth approved by the Judiciary Committee, which previously reported out legislation to ban the practice of gun trafficking, to improve the Nation's background check system and to reauthorize a matching grant program to provide Federal assistance to schools to enhance safety measures.
"What we have accomplished in our committee work has been difficult, but we have not accepted that as an excuse to do nothing," Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said. "We have listened to heart-wrenching testimony. We have opened the process to input from all, and we have proceeded methodically to search for commonsense answers to the recurring tragedy of gun violence."
Leahy voted in favor of Feinstein's legislation, which he said should be considered by the full Senate, and noted that the Judiciary Committee has focused much of its time to the issues of gun violence at Second Amendment rights since the beginning of the year. The measures reported out of the Judiciary Committee, including Leahy's Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act to make illegal the abusive practice of straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms, now go to the full Senate for consideration.
"I noted at the outset that the Second Amendment is secure and will remain secure and protected," Leahy said. "Second Amendment rights are the foundation on which our discussion rests. They are not at risk. But lives are at risk when responsible people fail to stand up for laws that will keep guns out of the hands of those who will use them to commit mass murder."
Results from Thursday's executive business meeting can be found online.