March 15, 2013

Assault Weapons Ban Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

At this Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee meeting the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 was approved by a party line vote. All ten Democrats on the committee voted in favor while all eight Republicans opposed the legislation. According to reports in USNEWS Republican Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) offered a series of amendments to add more exemptions to the Ban. Each of his proposed amendments were defeated by party line voting. Senator Cornyn argued,
"Why would we turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal? If the criminal element is going to be using weapons like this, it is not much satisfaction that criminals are going to have access [to these weapons] and we are going to give the American people a pea shooter." 
The legislation would prevent the purchase of 150 specifically named weapons, potentially limiting the ability of law-abiding American citizens to defend themselves.

There were several tense moments as the meeting perhaps the most pointed exchange came between Senator Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Feinstein (D-CA). The Junior Senator from Texas questioned the ability of the Federal government to limit freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the Senior Senator from California responded with a quip that she, "I'm not a sixth grader..." An article in Politico records the full exchange.

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