Sen. Chris Murphy doesn’t think Democrats have 60 votes for assault weapons ban. | AP Photo GOP senators back Trump on assault weapons ban; some question the number of public comments
President Donald Trump’s push for a sweeping ban on the sale of assault rifles in the U.S. passed a major hurdle Sunday with a vote along party lines in the Senate.
Just hours before voting in the Senate health committee on a bill to block sales of assault weapons, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) raised questions about the 60-vote threshold required for the bill to get a vote.
The bill, which was a product of negotiations between Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday, is being pushed by Trump. An executive order he signed in January called on the attorney general to conduct a study on “the protection of the American people from violence at the hands of private actors who pose a threat to community well-being or property.”
Murphy, who represents Connecticut’s 4th congressional district, said he didn’t know how many public comments Congress had already taken on the matter.
“It’s unclear from the public comments what number of public comments it has gathered so far on this,” he said, adding that the executive order could use a “number of different techniques, including public hearings and hearings of experts.”
Murphy said in other remarks during the debate that there was a possibility the bill could pass the Senate and be signed into law by the president within a week, although he didn’t indicate how quickly that would be possible.
The bill would require that assault rifles can only be sold to those with a federal firearms license, limiting them to those who show that the weapon is “designed and intended” for “lawfully purposes.” It would also require that all semi-automatic firearms capable of firing more than 8 rounds of ammunition per minute must have “a fixed magazine of more than 10 rounds or a detachable magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”
Supporters of the ban say that it will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but critics say it would criminalize legitimate gun owners with legitimate Second Amendment rights. Some say the