The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a ban on "assault" weapons and high-capacity magazine clips in a 10 to 8 vote on Thursday.
But the measure, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., is unlikely to get much farther. It could face hurdles passing the Democratic-led Senate when it comes up for a vote, and would certainly be struck down in the GOP-controlled House.
Feinstein on Wednesday acknowledged her legislation would likely stall if it doesn’t receive strong support from Democrats.
"I'd like to see everybody doing more," Feinstein said, when asked if she'd like more backing from President Barack Obama. "Yes, absolutely, we need help. We have the 800-pound gorilla out there" – a reference to the influential National Rifle Association.
Some Democrats, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, has said the party should unite behind an effort to institute universal background checks, which she said was an “attainable goal.”
“Where we can make the most difference is with background checks and information shared,” Pelosi said in an interview with Denver Post on Monday. “Let’s keep guns out of the wrong hands."