A gun control bill that would ban “assault weapons” likely does not have enough votes to make it to President Joe Biden’s desk, Democrats said on Nov. 27.
“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,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I don’t know how you get 60 votes in the Senate,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Democrats also control the Senate. The upper chamber is split 50–50 and Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tiebreaking votes. But to pass the filibuster, Democrats must convince 10 Republicans to support legislation.
Republicans will gain control of the House in January 2023 after flipping seats in the midterm elections, adding urgency to the Democrat push to pass gun control bills.
Biden on Thanksgiving called for “much stricter gun laws” and said he would call for a ban on so-called assault weapons during the lame-duck session.
“The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick,” Biden said.
“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,” he added.
Pro-Second Amendment groups and some Republicans have criticized the effort to ban “assault weapons,” noting the term would encompass many firearms.
“They are coming for everything,” the Firearms Policy Coalition said on Facebook, alongside a picture of Biden’s remarks.