Senate Panel Backs Obama Bid to Renew Assault Weapons Ban
President Barack Obama’s bid to renew a ban against military-style assault weapons narrowly won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and headed to the full Senate, where it appears certain to fail.
On a party line vote of 10-8, the Democratic-led panel approved a bill to renew a ban similar to one that expired in 2004. The measure would also limit high-capacity ammunition clips to 10 bullets.
Military-style assault weapons have been the weapon of choice in a number of recent U.S. mass shootings, including one at a elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six adults on December 14.
Polls show a majority of Americans back the ban.
But most Senate Republicans and a number of Democrats from rural states oppose it, arguing it would violate the constitutional right to bear arms. Many fear that backing the legislation could cost them re-election.
Obama’s call to renew the ban is a centerpiece of his effort to curb gun violence in the wake of Newtown.