This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated that an assault weapons ban will not be part of a comprehensive gun control bill, though the ban's sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein could still offer it as an amendment.
The senate gun control bill was introduced by California Senator Dianne Feinstein and contained provisions that banned what she defined as assault weapons.
Assault weapons were defined in her bill as any firearm with "military type features" such as a forward grip, folding, telescoping, or detachable stock, grenade launcher or rocket launcher or barrel shround. Her ban also included ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (http://1.usa.gov/W4Nq1R).
The bill lists hundreds of specific types, models, brands and manufacturers of weapons that are specifically prohibeted.
Senator Feinstein's bill also greatly restricted the sale, possession and transfer of these weapons. It specified how firearms are to be marked, labeled and stored, even in private homes (http://1.usa.gov/W4Nq1R).
The bill was opposed by Republicans in the Senate and was the source of a contentious encounter between Senator Feinstein and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cruz asked Feinstein to clarify the constitutionality of other restrictions of liberties guaranteed under the Bill of Rights as a means of comparison to the 2nd Amendment (see video).
Retraction of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 does not kill the bill, as Senator Feinstein can reintroduce it as an amendment. Why the Senate Majority Leader pulled Feinstein's bill is still uncertain.
"The leader has decided not to do it." Feinstein told Politico after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "You will have to ask him," about why the decision was made (http://bit.ly/YSM8qk).
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed Feinstein's bill and Senator Chuck Schumer's Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013. Schumer's measure is to move toward universal background checks by requiring background checks for the sale and transfer of all firearms even between private individuals. It requires essentially all gun sales to go through dealers and for dealers to maintain records on all sales (http://bit.ly/Z8pBCP).
Harry Reid left Senator Schumer's bill move forward as part of the comprehensive gun control bill. That bill, if passed by the Senate is expected to face stiff opposition in the Republican controlled House of Representatives.