Tags: Congress | Won't | Renew | Assault | Weapons | Ban

Congress Won't Renew Assault Weapons Ban

Thursday, 09 September 2004 12:00 AM

"I think the will of the American people is consistent with letting it expire, so it will expire," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

Some Democrats and several police leaders said President Bush should try to persuade Congress to renew the ban. Bush has said he would sign such a bill if Congress passed it.

"If the president asked me, it'd still be no ... because we don't have the votes to pass an assault-weapons ban and it will expire Monday and that's that," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said later.

DeLay said the ban was "a feel-good piece of legislation" that does nothing to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.

Appearing at a news conference, chiefs of police from the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle predicted an increase in violent gun crimes if the ban expires.

"Our streets, our homes, our citizens and our police officers will face great danger unless the federal ban on assault weapons is renewed," said Charles Ramsey, the police chief in the nation's capital.

In March, the Senate voted to add the ban to a bill that would have immunized gun manufacturers from liability suits stemming from violent gun crimes. But the Senate voted 90-8 against the final bill after the National Rifle Association urged its defeat.

Frist also said yesterday that the Senate probably will not vote before this year's election on a bill with broad bipartisan support to legalize cheaper prescription-drug imports from Canada.

Frist, an opponent of permitting medicines to be imported, said there is too much else to do in the few weeks left before lawmakers head home. He also said he remains concerned about the safety of drug imports.

Some Democrats responded that they would try to force a vote. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said, "This has been debated over and over and over again. With the broad bipartisan consensus, we must act. And we intend to see the Senate take a position and have a vote."

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"I think the will of the American people is consistent with letting it expire, so it will expire," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Some Democrats and several police leaders said President Bush should try to persuade Congress to renew the ban. Bush has...
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Thursday, 09 September 2004 12:00 AM
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