Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

February 27, 2009

Democratic Leaders Oppose Return Of “Assault Weapons” Ban

by Doug Mataconis

The announcement by Eric Holder that I wrote about yesterday regarding the return of the “assault weapons” ban received this very interesting reception from Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will join Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in opposing any effort to revive the 1994 assault weapons ban, putting them on the opposite side of the Obama administration.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the Nevada Democrat will preserve his traditional pro-gun rights voting record.

“Senator Reid would oppose an effort (to) reinstate the ban if the Senate were to vote on it in the future,” Manley told The Hill in an e-mail late Thursday night.

It was not immediately clear whether Reid would block the bill from the Senate, but his opposition casts serious doubt on its chances. Also, Manley noted that Reid voted against the ban in 1994 and again when it expired in 2004.

Reid’s stance joins him with Pelosi, who told reporters Thursday that the administration had not checked with her before Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters the administration would attempt to reinstate the ban. Pelosi gave a flat “no” when asked if she had spoken to Holder or any other administration officials about the issue.

“On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “I think it’s clear the Bush administration didn’t do that.”

Outside of the dig at the recent Republican president, that phrase is the stock line of those who don’t want to pass new gun control laws, such as the National Rifle Association.

So does this mean that Democrats in Congress are finding some new respect for Second Amendment rights ?

Well, not really:

A number of House Democrats lost their seats after being targeted by the National Rifle Association for voting for the 1994 ban.

Pelosi and Reid do not want this because they don’t want it to become an issue in 2010 they way it was in 1994.

Pure politics, but I’ll take what I can get on this.

H/T: QandO

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  • Miko

    If Reid voted against it in 1994, it doesn’t make much sense to say that his actions now are “pure politics.”

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Miko,

    And you don’t think politics played into his 1994 vote ?

    He’s a Democrat in what is still a pretty Republican state — and it was even more Republican back in the 90s.

  • furequired

    Um… everything involving the government is politics. It’s the same thing. So calling something “politics” is redundant.

    That idiocity aside, maybe Democratic legislators now embrace 2nd amendment freedom for individuals since they are aware of the interest individuals have in this freedom… which is very fortunate.

    Tyrants like Holder who seek to impose their will over the law itself should not have a place in public office.

  • Peter

    Could you say that he is a Democrat in a relatively Libertarian state?

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    I’d say he’s a Democrat in a Republican state with some libertarian elements.

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