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Federal gun violence bills clear first hurdles, but others remain

WASHINGTON — An assault weapons ban is all but dead, but reform supporters hope to see other bills pass.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords getting a kiss from Sen. Al Franken during a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary committee about guns in January.
REUTERS/Larry Downing
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“I am hoping to see at least background checks passed,” she said. “For heaven’s sake, background checks before a gun sale is a no brainer. I would certainly hope they pass something like that.”

Sen. Al Franken, who voted for both bills, said Thursday that passing the assault weapons ban looks like a “very difficult, uphill climb.”

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“My job isn’t to be a prognosticator,” Franken said. “What I do is I vote the way I believe, and I will do that.”

“I think that there’s been a change in how people view this problem,” she said. “I think what perhaps the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting did is brought it home for a lot of people, including legislators, who thought maybe gun violence was someone else’s problem. It’s very disturbing that that was done, but I think that after the Newtown shooting, they just couldn’t dismiss it anymore.”