|Congress to Let
Assault Weapons Ban Expire
AP / Fox September 08, 2004
"I think the will of the American
consistent with letting it expire, so it will expire," Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. , told reporters.
The 10-year ban, signed by
President Clinton in 1994,
outlawed 19 types of military-style assault weapons. A clause
that the ban expire unless Congress specifically reauthorized it.
Some Democrats and several police
President Bush should try to persuade Congress to renew the ban.
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, told reporters 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 does expire.
"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 H. Ramsey, the police chief in
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
final bill after the National Rifle Association (^) urge its
NRA President Wayne LaPierre said
in an interview
with The Associated Press that his group is so confident that Congress
won't renew the ban that it is not spending any more money on ads this
year opposing it.
He said supporters of the ban
could not muster the
support needed to bring it to a vote in the House because several
Democrats attribute losing their majority in the House in 1994 over
votes then in favor of the ban.