WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a measure to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, the first major Congressional vote on the issue since the ban expired in 2004.
The vote to approve the measure — now ostensibly headed for the full Senate — went firmly along party lines; the 10 Democrats on the committee voted aye, and the 8 Republicans of the committee rejected it. The legislation would also limit the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
In debating the measure — as well as amendments offered by Senator John Cornyn of Texas designed to chip away its provisions — the committee laid bare the essence and emotions of the debate over how to prevent gun violence and the meaning of the Second Amendment, a fight that is likely to continue on the Senate floor.
The measure, the fourth and most controversial passed by the committee, is almost certain to fail if brought before the entire Senate and has almost zero chance of even receiving a hearing in the House.