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No major gun control legislation has made it through Congress in two decades in the face of opposition from the National Rifle Association and its gun rights allies.
Republicans generally oppose gun restrictions and many Democrats, particularly those representing rural areas, also support gun rights. Reid has been a long-time backer of gun rights.
Asked if she concedes that getting the Senate to pass a new assault weapons ban would be tough, Feinstein said, “I concede because the NRA is venal. They come after you. They put together large amounts of money to defeat you. They did this in ‘93 and they intend to continue it.”
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer and executive vice president of the Virginia-based NRA, is among the witnesses scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on Wednesday on reducing gun violence.
RURAL VIEWS ON GUNS
Obama, in the magazine interview, said bridging a cultural divide in attitudes to gun ownership will be critical to his administration’s push to curb gun violence.
“If you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that,” Obama said.
Obama wants the ban on military-style assault weapons, a proposal that faces a tough battle in Congress, as well as mandatory background checks for all gun buyers, a step viewed as having a better chance of success.
The United States has a long-standing gun culture and the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.
Vice President Joe Biden on Friday took the administration’s case for gun control to the gun-friendly state of Virginia, part of a White House strategy to urge the public to pressure Congress into passing laws aimed at curbing firearms violence.
Feinstein’s legislation would prohibits the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 157 military-style assault weapons. It would ban an additional group of assault weapons that can accept a detachable ammunition magazine and have one or more military characteristics.
It also would ban large-capacity magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds and shooters to fire numerous rounds in rapid succession without reloading.