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Reid declines to endorse Feinstein's assault-weapons ban

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Biden to tap Erika Moritsugu as new Asian American and Pacific Islander liaison White House races clock to beat GOP attacks MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday declined to voice support for Democratic legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

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Reid said he would bring gun-violence legislation to the floor and open it to a lengthy amendment process. But he declined to endorse the assault weapons ban introduced last week by Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinOvernight Defense: Army moves to combat sexual crimes | Eight West Point cadets expelled | Democratic senators want to restrict F-35 sale to UAE A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US Democratic senators seek to constrain F-35 sale to UAE MORE (D-Calif.), which has the support of the 2nd- and 3rd-ranking Senate Democratic leaders.

“She’s talked to me about her assault weapons. The new one. She believes in it fervently and I admire her for that. I’ll take a look at that,” he said in response to a reporter's question. “We’re going to have votes on all kinds of issues dealing with guns, and I think everyone would be well advised to read the legislation before they determine how they’re going to vote [on] it.”

Feinstein’s bill would ban the sale and manufacture of more than 150 types of semi-automatic weapons, including handguns with fixed magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets.

Republicans have raised doubts that Reid will even bring gun-control legislation to the Senate floor. Reid helped defeat an effort five years ago to renew the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

Reid dispelled the GOP speculation.

He said he has told his colleagues he will do everything in his power to “bring legislation dealing with guns and violence, generally, to the floor.”

Reid said that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Senate GOP opens door to earmarks MORE (D-Vt.) has told the Democratic Caucus his plans for holding hearings on gun violence.

Leahy has introduced legislation to help prosecutors crack down on “straw purchasers” of firearms later used in crimes.