Key Democrats say assault weapons ban doesn't have the votes

Ten GOP lawmakers would need to back any assault weapons ban to clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold. Thus far, none have signed on.

Updated: November 28, 2022 - 3:41pm

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As President Joe Biden vows to renew his push for an assault weapons ban during the lame duck session of Congress, a number of key Democrats have indicated that the proposal does not have the support from enough lawmakers to secure passage.

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy this week offered support to the effort but speculated that it would not succeed, telling CNN "I'm glad that President Biden is going to be pushing us to take a vote on an assault weapons ban. The House has already passed it. It's sitting in front of the Senate. Does it have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not."

The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. Ten GOP lawmakers would need to back any assault weapons ban to clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold. Thus far, none have signed on.

House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) echoed sentiments from Murphy, saying on CBS that "I don't know how you get 60 votes in the Senate."

Biden announced his intent to pursue an assault weapons ban earlier this month, in the wake of multiple mass shootings.

"The idea [that] we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick," he said at the time. "It's just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers."

The House passed an assault weapons ban earlier this year spearheaded by Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, which has since stalled in the upper chamber. That bill adopts measures comparable to existing state-wide bans which forbid the sale, manufacture, and transfer of certain semi-automatic firearms with a range of external features.

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