Senate Seems Likely To Avoid Gun Debate This Fall

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Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig has dropped a plan to seek a repeal of Washington, D.C.’s anti-gun laws as Senate GOP leaders said that they did not have time to get bogged down in a gun debate before Congress adjourns for the fall elections, the Washington Post reports. The measure remains alive int he House, however. Opponents of the proposed repeal, including parents of residents killed by gunfire, lobbied and held a news conference on Capitol Hill. “If the U.S. Capitol can be handgun-free, why can’t we?” asked Hannah Hawkins of the Children of Mine Center. Advocates for repeal argue that bans on handguns and semiautomatic weapons are unconstitutional and that they have been ineffective at combating crime.

Craig still could push the measure when a spending bill reaches the Senate floor, but a spokesperson for Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), said an amendment might trigger an unwelcome standoff with Democrats by reviving a fight over a 10-year-old nationwide assault-weapons ban that expired last week. “At this point, we want to move all the appropriations bills as expeditiously as possible,” said the Frist aide. “We want to get our work done, and having an assault weapons debate is probably not going to move something expeditiously.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36860-2004Sep20.html

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