Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken vote in favor of semiautomatic rifle ban
|"I think that what we've seen in these mass murders of late is the use of these assault weapons, and I think that this will save lives," Franken said.|
-- More Minnesotans were killed in fist fights than by rifles in 2011
-- Pine County Sheriff's refusal to enforce new gun regulations has at least one legislative supporter
"Are we going to see these mass murders go to zero? No, we're not. But I think if we can save one life or a few lives by doing this, then I think it's worth it," Franken is quoted as saying in an MPR report, echoing language used by President Obama when he gave a speech in north Minneapolis last month.
More from MPR:
In a 10-8 party line vote with both of Minnesota's Democratic senators voting with the majority, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the final elements of the most broad-ranging gun control proposals to receive congressional attention in nearly 20 years.Franken conceded it'll be tough to get the bill through the GOP-controlled House. That view is shared by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said earlier this winter that while a semiautomatic rifle ban could "maybe" win approval in his chamber, the chances of it getting through the House were slim.
The bill approved on Thursday includes a ban on many assault-style weapons and would also limit ammunition magazines for semiautomatic weapons to 10 rounds.
While the legislation would ban the sale, manufacture and importation of assault-style semiautomic weapons and large ammunition clips, those currently in possession of those weapons and clips could still keep theirs.
"Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it," Reid said.
Here in Minnesota, Sen. Ron Latz, D-St. Louis Park and the chair of the Senate's recent gun control hearings, said he isn't interested in pushing for a state-level semiautomatic ban or magazine size restriction this session.
"I want to focus on what we can accomplish this year," Latz said, according to a Pioneer Press report. "Assault weapons bans and high-capacity magazine restrictions are much more divisive and frankly I think they're much better suited to be dealt with at the federal level."