Assault weapons ban out of Senate gun bill

A gun package bill that will probably go to the U.S. Senate floor after Easter will not include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the measure did not have enough votes to clear the floor and get 60 votes to be passed by the full Senate. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who sponsored the assaults weapons ban measure, was upset over the decision not to include the ban but agreed it would make it easier for the bill to pass the Senate.

"How many assault weapons do you need circulating?" Feinstein said. "To have these mass killings is such a blight on everything that America stands for."

Feinstein will now try to get the proposal to be added onto the gun package as an amendment. A simple majority of Democratic senators would have to approve the amendment for it to be included.  

Among the gun reform measures recently passed  by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the assaults weapons ban was considered the toughest sell. In the committee, it had no Republican support.

Other measures that will be included in the gun bill going before the Senator includes prposals that strengthen federal penalties for trafficking and straw purchases, improve school safety and require background checks for nearly every firearm purchase.

Sehveral prominent Christian represenatives are part of a coalition of religious leaders, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, that have urged Congress to pass the package of gun laws backed byPresident Barack Obama. The organization recently observed Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend to call for the church body to advocate for laws to prevent gun violence. 

"It's the clergy and laity here today...we're the ones who bury those who have their lives needlessly taken from those who slaughter. We insist it's time to take action," said James Winkler, chair of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence. 

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