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Assault weapons ban will not be included in a U.S. Senate gun bill

By Megan Gorey
Published On: Mar 20 2013 04:54:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2013 11:01:00 PM CDT

Senate Democrats said there are not enough votes for the ban and that including it could jeopardize passage of all proposed reforms.

An assault weapons ban will not be included in a U.S. Senate gun bill.

Senate Democrats said there are not enough votes for the ban and that including it could jeopardize passage of all proposed reforms.

"It was tragic what happened," said Steve Birchfield, manager at Gunrunners in Blountville, talking about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December. "It was probably the most tragic thing America will probably ever see."

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats decided to remove an assault weapon ban from proposed gun-control legislation. "Democrat or Republican, they need to come together on this and quit avoiding the issue," Birchfield said.

Birchfield believes this debate shouldn't be about politics, it should be about people and their Second Amendment rights. "Don't go after the people who buy the guns; the honest, hard-working, tax payers. Go after the criminals," he said.

On Capital Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wants to bring a gun bill to the Senate with enough support to overcome any Republican efforts to block debate. "I have said time and time again that I want people to have the ability to vote on assault weapons, mental health, safety in schools, federal trafficking, clips, everything. But I cannot do that until I get a bill on the floor," said Reid.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who sponsored the provision, said she's disappointed, but she will offer her ban on military-style firearms as an amendment.

That worries Todd Sutherland, the owner of Gunslingers in Kingsport. "If they've taken it out as a ploy to get more support, and eventually add something back to it to get it passed, I'm concerned about that," he said.

Sutherland said his sales have tripled in the past three months. That includes ammunition and assault-style weapons. "Those are things people are afraid they're going to try to take away from us," he said.

The assault weapons ban will be on as a separate amendment to the overall bill. It is expected to fail.