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Feinstein says gun control faces uphill climb

Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks next to a display of assault weapons in a press conference Thursday, when she introduced a bill to ban certain types of weapons.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks next to a display of assault weapons in a press conference Thursday, when she introduced a bill to ban certain types of weapons.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who's leading the push to restore an assault weapon ban, acknowledged on Sunday that the effort faces tough odds to pass Congress and she blamed the nation's largest gun-rights group.

Feinstein, D-Calif., on Thursday introduced a bill that would prohibit 157 specific weapons and ammunition magazines that have more than 10 rounds. The White House and fellow Democrats are skeptical the measure is going anywhere, given lawmakers who are looking toward re-election might fear pro-gun voters and the National Rifle Association.

"This has always been an uphill fight. This has never been easy. This is the hardest of the hard," Feinstein said.

"I think I can get it passed because the American people are very much for it," Feinstein said of the measure that follows a similar one she championed into law in 1994 but expired a decade later.

She acknowledged, however, the NRA's political clout. She also said the group was a pawn of those who make weapons.

The NRA disputed her characterization.

"The NRA is a grass roots organization. We have more than 4 million dues-paying members and tens of millions of supporters all across this country. Our political power comes from them. Decent and logical people would understand that," spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, said Congress should focus on the causes of violence and not the weapons alone.

Feinstein appeared on CBS's Face the Nation and CNN's State of the Union. Ryan was on NBC's Meet the Press.

Feinstein says gun control faces uphill climb 01/27/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 27, 2013 11:10pm]

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