Tonight, I'll start the process of bringing gun violence prevention bill to Senate floor. It will include provisions on background checks.—
Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) March 21, 2013
Enough votes to pass? Not likely. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tweeted this afternoon that a ban on assault weapons will receive votes on the Senate floor.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein emerged from a meeting with Reid Monday with news that her proposed ban of 157 different models of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines would not be part of a Democratic gun control bill to be offered on the Senate floor. That inspired Michael Moore to appear on “Piers Morgan Tonight” and demand that viewers flood “weenie” Reid with emails and tweets. So, did it work? Is this a reversal of his earlier position?
Not quite, it seems. Feinstein’s ban will not be part of the bill after all.
Reid’s two tweets aren’t necessarily connected. While Reid has confirmed in a statement that he’ll include a requirement for expanded background checks in the Democrat’s gun control package, the other measures won’t be part of tonight’s bill. Rather, they’ll have to be introduced as amendments. Reid’s statement explains, in part:
“The bill I advance tonight will serve as the basis for opening debate. Once debate begins, I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes, along with other amendments. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do.”
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), for example, has promised that he’ll add his proposed 10-round magazine limit as an amendment.
Has Reid’s second tweet put him back in the good graces of gun control advocates?
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Update: NBC’s Chuck Todd notes that Reid’s aides are working to clarify where the assault weapon ban stands.