Obama: Assault weapons ban 'deserves a vote' in full Senate, House

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"I'm going to talk to [Sen. Patrick] Leahy [(D-Vt.)] about that," he told reporters after a leadership press conference. "I'm not going to worry about it here. Everybody will have their chance."

Some Democrats have said that omitting the assault weapons ban, which is strongly opposed by Republicans and some Democratic members, would improve the chances of other gun controls -- including expanded background checks and new laws governing the trafficking of firearms -- being passed.

But in his statement Thursday, Obama again left little doubt that he wanted a vote on the assault weapons ban.

"These weapons of war, when combined with high-capacity magazines, have one purpose: to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible. They are designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers," Obama said.

The ban, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), passed the Judiciary Committee in a 10-8 party-line vote.

- Jonathan Easley and Alexander Bolton contributed.