NRA: Congress Won’t Pass Assault Weapons Ban

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 13 2013 2:26 PM

NRA President: Congress Likely Won’t Pass Assault Weapons Ban

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National Rifle Association President David Keene says he doesn't think Congress could pass a law limiting high-capacity magazines

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

National Rifle Association President David Keene said he doesn’t think an assault weapons ban would be able to make it through Congress. Same goes for a ban on high-capacity magazines. Keene did make clear that things could change if President Obama wants to spend lots of political capital on the issue, but he made clear he still thinks the NRA has enough support in Congress.

"When a president takes all the power of his office, if he's willing to expend political capital, you don't want to make predictions. You don't want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," Keene said on CNN. (Watch video of the interview after the jump.)

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He’s not alone. Sen. John McCain replied with a “no” when he was asked on CBS whether Congress would ban assault weapons and then replied with a simple “no” again when asked whether it should pass.

Although many have suggested the White House may be moving away from a politically difficult push to ban assault weapons, the administration has denied that’s the case. "The president has been clear that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban and that avoiding this issue just because it's been politically difficult in the past is not an option," Matt Lehrich, a spokesman for Obama, told Yahoo News on Friday.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.