Gun control measures pass Senate committee, assault weaspons vote delayed


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on January 24, 2013 in Washington, DC. House and Senate Democrats where joined by law enforcement officials to introduce the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013" legislation to ban assault style weapons and high capacity magazines.



Two gun control measures are headed to the Senate in what could be a precursor for larger debate over assault weapons as parties grapple over Second Amendment rights.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved mandatory background checks and increased funding for school security today, but postponed a vote on an assault weapons ban, The New York Times reported.

The assault weapons vote was suspended until Thursday because sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was unable to attend.

If the first measure becomes law, it would expand background checks to private gun sales. It passed committee 10-8 along party lines.

According to Politico, states would also have access to national criminal background checks.

The committee also renewed grants for school security over the next decade and increased funding to $40 million from $30 million, the Times said.

More from GlobalPost: Feinstein optimistic about assault weapons ban

Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia) are now hoping to find Republicans to support a bipartisan version of the background check proposals.

“I remain optimistic we’ll be able to roll one out,” Schumer told Politico.

The assault weapons ban—which was on the books for 10 years before expiring in 2004—is likely to pass the committee along party lines, Reuters reported.

However, procedural blocks remain for the bills to become laws; the laws need 60 votes in the 100-member senate.

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