Today in the Senate, seven (7) amendments were introduced for Reid’s gun control bill, S. 649 – the "Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013". Three of the amendments were introduced by Democrats, the other four by Republicans. All of them were rejected.
The votes were, by amendment number (60 votes needed to pass):
Of particular note is Amendment 711, which is Feinstein’s attempt to get her "assault weapons" ban tacked onto the bill. This amendment did not include the magazine capacity limitation, focusing only on "assault weapons". By the vote tally, 60 Senators voted against Feinstein’s bill. This basically tells you that the bill is politically toxic. Feinstein will likely view this as a complete defeat on her bill and likely will not try to bring it up again during the remainder of this Congress, but we must be vigilant and keep an eye out for it as any Senator could try to sneak it in.
Among the votes for Yay on that amendment included just one (1) lone Republican: Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois. Of the 38 Democrats that voted in favor of it, Senator McCaskill of my State of Missouri was included. I will likely be sending another letter to her office – and will likely receive a form letter in response.
Along with Senator Angus King (I-ME), fifteen (15) Democrats joined all other Republicans to vote down Feinstein’s bill:
- Max Baucus (MT)
- Mark Begich (AK)
- Michael Bennet (CO)
- Joe Donnelly (IN)
- Kay Hagan (NC)
- Martin Heinrich (NM)
- Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
- Tim Johnson (SD)
- Mary Landrieu (LA)
- Joe Manchin (WV)
- Mark Pryor (AR)
- Jon Tester (MT)
- Mark Udall (CO)
- Tom Udall (NM)
- Mark Warner (VA)
They definitely deserve our thanks for voting this thing out. Again with 60 Senators voting against this, it should send a message to Feinstein that renewing and expanding the old "assault weapons" ban is not going to fly with the American people. The magazine capacity limit was reintroduced separately as Amendment 714, with 54 Senators voting against it.
So the full Senate has said in no uncertain terms that it does not want any part of Feinstein’s legislation. This is certainly good news for gun rights and for all Americans.
But this doesn’t mean we let our guard down. Feinstein or another Senator could try to bring it up again before the 2014 election, try to sneak it on to something else, so we have to remain vigilant. But if it’s not brought up again this Congress, fully expect it to be reintroduced in 2015.
The fight is far from over.