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Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken vote in favor of semiautomatic rifle ban

"I think that what we've seen in these mass murders of late is the use of these assault weapons, and I think that this will save lives," Franken said.
"I think that what we've seen in these mass murders of late is the use of these assault weapons, and I think that this will save lives," Franken said.

Though Al Franken seemed a bit conflicted about the issue in January, both he and Amy Klobuchar joined the rest of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday to vote in favor of a gun control proposal that would ban some semiautomatic rifles and limit magazine sizes.

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"Are we going to see these mass murders go to zero? No, we're not. But I think if we can save one life or a few lives by doing this, then I think it's worth it," Franken is quoted as saying in an MPR report, echoing language used by President Obama when he gave a speech in north Minneapolis last month.

More from MPR:

In a 10-8 party line vote with both of Minnesota's Democratic senators voting with the majority, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the final elements of the most broad-ranging gun control proposals to receive congressional attention in nearly 20 years.

The bill approved on Thursday includes a ban on many assault-style weapons and would also limit ammunition magazines for semiautomatic weapons to 10 rounds.

While the legislation would ban the sale, manufacture and importation of assault-style semiautomic weapons and large ammunition clips, those currently in possession of those weapons and clips could still keep theirs.

Franken conceded it'll be tough to get the bill through the GOP-controlled House. That view is shared by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said earlier this winter that while a semiautomatic rifle ban could "maybe" win approval in his chamber, the chances of it getting through the House were slim.

"Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it," Reid said.

Here in Minnesota, Sen. Ron Latz, D-St. Louis Park and the chair of the Senate's recent gun control hearings, said he isn't interested in pushing for a state-level semiautomatic ban or magazine size restriction this session.

"I want to focus on what we can accomplish this year," Latz said, according to a Pioneer Press report. "Assault weapons bans and high-capacity magazine restrictions are much more divisive and frankly I think they're much better suited to be dealt with at the federal level."


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