Democrats Seek Bush's Help on Assault Weapons Ban


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2dogs
May 9, 2003, 08:06 AM
Say what?


http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=2708080

Democrats Seek Bush's Help on Assault Weapons Ban

Thu May 8, 2003 04:12 PM ET
By Joanne Kenen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Opening a drive to renew the 1994 ban on assault weapons, a group of senators on Thursday challenged President Bush to give them the high-profile assistance they need to keep the law on the books.

Though generally opposed to expanding gun control measures, Bush pledged during his 2000 campaign to support a renewal of the assault weapons ban that expires in 2004. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer reiterated that support.

Asked whether Bush would fight for the ban, Fleischer said, 'Watch his actions and judge for yourself.'

Backers of the legislation say Bush needs to take a highly visible role to help them in what will be an uphill battle to pass an extension, particularly in the House.

'If we don't have the president on board, this will be bottled up in the dark of night,' said New York Democrat Charles Schumer, who helped get the ban enacted against the political odds a decade ago.

The ban applies to semi-automatic assault weapons like the Uzi and the AK-47 that have high ammunition capacity and are capable of rapid fire at close range.

Backing the extension on the military-style assault weapons would put Bush at odds with the National Rifle Association, the influential gun lobby. Bush is usually a strong NRA ally, so much so that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told an NRA convention in Orlando a few weeks ago, 'Were it not for your active involvement, it's safe to say my brother wold not be president of the United States.'

Bush strongly supports another top NRA priority, a bill that would block many lawsuits against gun manufacturers and gun dealers. It passed the House in April and seems to have considerable momentum in the Senate.

TIGHTER GUN CONTROL NOT 'IN THE CARDS'

Schumer and other backers of the assault weapons ban told a news conference they are seeking renew the 1994 law as written, recognizing that they can't expand it in the current political climate.

The sole change they seek is a ban on importing high-capacity ammunition clips that let an assailant shoot dozens of bullets in a matter of seconds. The 1994 law banned their U.S. manufacture, but not their import.

Gun control advocates in the past have sought controls on more types of guns, safety locks on triggers and controls on sales of guns at gun shows.

Action on measures to strengthen or expand gun control 'isn't in the cards right now,' said California Democrat Dianne Feinstein. She said she would rather preserve the status quo so she can build on it in the future than 'lose everything (and) go back many steps' by overreaching now.

While Feinstein, Schumer and their allies were optimistic about passing their bill in the Senate, they were worried about the House. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, has a strong pro-gun stance, and House rules give minority Democrats little power to influence the House agenda.

A spokesman for DeLay noted that he had opposed the weapons ban in the past but said he had not laid out his position on legislation that would renew it.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said she was 'absolutely delighted' that Bush pledged to sign an extension of the ban.

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aikidoka-mks
May 9, 2003, 07:24 PM
capable of rapid fire at close range

Um - is there ANY semi-auto firearm that can not do this??!!

Not that this point matters to the sheeple.

Mark

PATH
May 9, 2003, 07:55 PM
Well, if he does I just ain't voting for him again. I'm sick to death of being taken for granted. You'll just be putting Democrats in again. Yup! The difference would be?

There will always be taxes and they will always be higher. I vote the one issue, guns. Narrow minded? Probably. It is my vote though.

twoblink
May 9, 2003, 08:19 PM
Hmm.. Last time I checked.. I can eject a magazine, grab a fresh one, and tap, rack, bang! In less than a second. So that whole "Hi-Cap" bologna is :barf:

WOW.. Self-sensored.. Was going to start using vulgar words like "That Hi-Cap stuff is just Feinstein, pure and simple..":D

Mark D
May 9, 2003, 08:24 PM
capable of rapid fire at close range

Sounds like a five gallon can of gas and a road flare.

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