An attempt by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) to resurrect and pass—by unanimous consent—a Dianne Feinstein-sponsored bill banning so-called “assault weapons” failed Wednesday when Republicans objected.
The measure, S. 25, would have reauthorized the long-dead ban which was in effect for ten years from 1994 to 2004, according to Reuters. It was not reauthorized back then, and was allowed to die. Studies have shown inconclusive evidence that the ban actually reduced mass shootings and other gun-related violence.
Schumer and President Joe Biden desperately want to ban modern semiautomatic rifles and original-capacity magazines, but when the measure was brought up for discussion, Republicans rejected the idea.
Sen. John Barasso noted during remarks on the Senate floor, “Americans have a Constitutional right to own a firearm.”
“The Second Amendment is freedom’s essential safeguard. Without it, there can be no liberty and there can be no security. So Mr. President, I object,” Barasso said, as quoted by The Hill.
Arguing from the floor, Schumer declared, “The scourge of gun violence in America is a national crisis. The American people are sick and tired of enduring one mass shooting after another. They’re sick and tired of vigil and moments of silence for family, friends, classmates, coworkers.”
The Second Amendment Foundation announced in a news release it would immediately challenge any such federal ban if it were to become law. The group, which focuses on education and litigation, is already involved in at least eight lawsuits challenging state-level gun bans, and a handful of other cases challenging bans on large-capacity magazines.
“Aside from the fact that such a ban would be unconstitutional,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, “there is no conclusive research showing that such a ban would actually prevent violent crimes, including mass shootings.”
He said criminalizing possession of such firearms would not make anyone safer, and simply turn peaceable citizens into lawbreakers.
The action occurred on the same day an unidentified individual opened fire at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Details are sketchy, and authorities have reported the shooter is dead. Fox News is reporting at least three victims.