The Assault Weapons Ban Ain’t Dead Yet

<a href="">Center for American Progress Action Fund</a>/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

On Monday, Harry Reid told a disappointed Dianne Feinstein that her assault weapons ban, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, wouldn’t be in the gun control legislation Democrats are preparing for the full Senate because it had insufficient support to get past a filibuster. But Thursday night, Reid said in a statement, “I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes” as amendments to the bill.

The bill moving forward now will include the provisions on background checks, school safety, and gun trafficking, Reid said. The universal background check provision was also controversial, passing out of committee on a party-line vote, but Reid signaled that wasn’t satisfactory. He is hopeful that negotiations during the upcoming Senate break will lead to a compromise that attracts bipartisan support for the measure, which has overwhelming support from the American public. “In order to be effective,” Reid said, “any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks.” West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, a member of the National Rifle Association who expressed tepid support for gun control after Newtown, will reportedly lead the compromise effort.

Reid said the legislation will be added to the Senate calendar Thursday night to allow for a vote in early April. After opening debate, the assault weapons ban amendments will be introduced, in line with the Obama administration’s continued commitment to keep it aliveBut as Reid noted earlier in the week, even using “the most optimistic numbers,” Feinstein’s amendment had fewer than 40 votes.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend