Udall, Bennet Vote Against Assault-Weapons Ban

April 17, 2013

Udall and Bennet were among the 15 Democrats who opposed the measure

WASHINGTON — Four months after hinting they would support a ban on semi-automatic weapons, Colorado’s two Democratic senators voted no on a legislative proposal designed to do just that.

“(I)t went too far because it would also have banned certain hunting rifles and even some shotguns,” Sen. Mark Udall said in a press release. “If this bill had been more carefully crafted to only ban weapons designed for the battlefields and keep them out of the hands of the criminals and the mentally ill, I would have supported it.”

Both Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet released statements after the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. that supported the idea of banning assault weapons. Yet neither senator formally endorsed legislation sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The Feinstein measure sought to prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of more than 150 semi-automatic weapons. Rep. Ed. Perlmutter (D-Golden) is the sponsor of a companion version in the House.

Feinstein’s amendment was defeated 40-60. The legislation was unveiled at an emotional, elaborate press event in January, but proponents conceded that approving the measure through a Senate with many red-state Democrats up for re-election in 2014 was an uphill struggle.

An administration official said the White House did not expect the ban to pass, as AR-15s are the most popular rifle in the country. The official added that Vice-President Biden met for half an hour in the West Wing with Dan Baum, a Boulder resident and author of Gun Guys, a book on the popularity of the gun culture in rural America.

Udall’s statement referred to hunters and sportsmen, constituencies that are well organized.

Democrats had greater expectations for legislative proposals to limit magazine clips on rifles and impose universal background checks. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who was shot in the head in January 2011 by a severely mentally ill college student, lobbied senators at the Capitol Tuesday and Wednesday. Yet those two proposals, as well as four others, went down to defeat.

Biden, who presided over the votes Wednesday in his role as President of the Senate, spoke to reporters after the background check measure did not garner enough votes to overcome a filibuster. Unsmiling and putting both hands in his pockets, he vowed that gun-control supporters would not relent.

“What this legislation shows is that the U.S. Senate is way behind the American people,” Biden said, referring to surveys that show significant public support for comprehensive background checks. “But this (fight) is far from over, far from over.”

Udall released a statement that criticized Republicans for failing to support “common-sense” legislation. “I am disappointed that my colleagues could not come together and support this bipartisan background check legislation to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining guns.”

While Democrats expressed dejection over the fate of the gun-control amendments, most Republicans expressed satisfaction at the defeat of the proposals.

When Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was asked his opinion of Obama’s first major legislative foray in his second term, he gave a half smile. ”It’s not an auspicious beginning,” he said.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

16 Responses to Udall, Bennet Vote Against Assault-Weapons Ban

  1. Wanda
    April 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” -George Washington

    • Ralph
      April 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Not disagreeing but here’s the original quote
      “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a Uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.”

  2. wrongheifer
    April 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Biden…It is a RIGHT…We don’t have to vote on it!

  3. christine l spragg
    April 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you for listen to the people.

  4. Dave
    April 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you Senators, for standind up for freedom and not emotional response.

    • Gerry Mander
      April 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Do you really believe they are standing up FOR gun rights???
      Udall’s up for re-election & stands a better chance of winning by “making believe” he’s a 2nd Amendment supporter.

      Of course he really doesn’t have to worry, as the “Colorado GOP Supreme Leader” & total nitwit, Ryan Call, can’t even find anyone to run against him; nor Gov. Chickenpooper, in case you haven’t noticed…

    • carlc2210
      April 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      Dave you are deluded if you believe Udall and Bennet voted against this amendment because they believe in freedom. These clowns voted no only as an expedient to make themselves look good to fools like you. Just wait, the next some egregious “common sense” legislation – read Universal Background Check (which will require a database for guns to make it work) they will be enthusiastically supporting it.

  5. April 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Don’t thank them. They said it themselves, they would have supported it if it were to ban just assault weapons. The second amendment is not written in Chinese. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    These laws are nothing more than an attempt to disarm the people by creating a national registry (using background checks) and confiscating. Research yourself. If you want a quick example in which the people are not armed and the government has the weapons, see North Korea.

  6. wales
    April 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    They voted no because they know Obama’s going to unlawfully use an EO to push anti-gun regs. It was political cover. They are both progressives through and through.

  7. Ken
    April 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Gun control legislation at the Federal level was defeated, in Colorado the Democrats passed it all. The effect on crime with guns will be the same, that is, no effect at all. This gun legislation is ineffective and unconstitutional.
    Through it all the legislated gun fee kill zones are still there. In the case of a theater you have the choice not to go there, but the kids in school are still not protected.

  8. BorisB
    April 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Please, don’t give these panderers any credit. They are only looking as far as the next election…

    They are covering their asses.

  9. CO_Patriot
    April 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

    If our Senators were true to their words, they would have voted for the Cruz replacement amendment. That was truly a common sense approach to the problem of mentally ill people getting weapons. They don’t want to solve the problem, they want to use the issue to further erode our rights.
    I can’t wait to get the next response letter from Udall where he claims he supports the 2nd Amendment. Bennet is a black hole – apparently he doesn’t respond to those who disagree with him.

  10. April 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    One must give them credit for being aware enough of the opinions of the voters to not commit political sucicide. No more, no less.

  11. Ken
    November 17, 2013 at 1:48 am

    What’s a “magazine clip”? Use your words, Observer. Use your words.


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