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The year of 2013 saw more political battles over gun control than any time since the Clinton era. Some good bills were passed, some detrimental bills were passed, but most of the legislation never survived Congress. To help put the year in perspective, we’ve summarized the 9 biggest 2nd Amendment stories of 2013.
1) Historic Senate vote slows anti-gun rhetoric

In a dramatic victory of logic over knee-jerk emotion, the U.S. Senate on April 17 derailed the gun control lobby’s campaign to capitalize on the Newtown shootings when it rejected all seven proposed amendments to the first gun control bill debated on its floor since 1994.


Gun control advocates vowed to rally the American people to force the Senate to reconsider the vote, only to learn that in espousing a cause that only dilutes the Constitution without addressing the problem, their initiatives made no sense to the people they claimed to represent.


The vote ended momentum for new federal guns laws in 2013 and, many pundits predict, until after the 2014 mid-term elections. While the amendments included a proposed universal background check requirement (see story #2), Sen. Dianne Feinstein's draconian semi-automatic firearms ban (see story #3), and a 10-bullet magazine capacity limit, others included proposals for national concealed carry, strengthening veterans' gun-owning rights, and making gun trafficking a federal crime.


"A series of Senate votes (on April 17) marked the biggest moment in nearly two decades for those who want to limit guns in America, and for those who don't," wrote Connie Cass of the Associated Press on April 18. "Gun control failed."


The seven amendments needed 60 votes to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even if approved, they would not have passed the Republican-dominated House.


The seven amendments:
* The proposed Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act failed in a 54-46 vote. Sens. Joe Manchin's (D-W.V.) and Pat Toomey's (R-Pa.) compromise bill would have required buyers to undergo background checks at gun shows and for online sales without imposing federal record-keeping regulations on private transactions.


* The Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2013 failed in a 52-48 vote. The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), would have increased funding for criminal prosecution, school safety, mental health resources and create a task force to go after felons who fail background checks. Nine Democrats supported it: Baucus, Begich, Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Heitkamp, Mary Landrieu (La.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Pryor and Jon Tester (Mont.). Two Republicans, Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Mike Lee (Utah), opposed.


* Gun trafficking amendment failed in a 58-42 vote. It would have made gun trafficking a federal crime and strengthened the penalties against “straw purchasers." This amendment was supported by the NRA.


* Constitutional Concealed Carry Act failed in a 57-43 vote. Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) bill would have given gun owners the right to carry concealed weapons across state lines and into other states that also have concealed-carry laws without obtaining a new license.

Dianne Feinstein's semi-automatics weapons ban -- sham title: "assault weapons" ban -- failed in a 40-60 vote. Sen. Kirk of Illinois, where a Republican can apparently vote against the Constitution with impunity, was the only member of the GOP to vote for it.


* Expanding veterans’ gun rights amendment failed in a 56-44 vote. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), under the bill, a court would have to determine that a beneficiary is a danger to him/herself or others before gun rights can be revoked. No Republican voted against it.


* High-cap magazine ban amendment failed in a 46-54 vote. Introduced by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), if passed the bill would have limited the capacities of magazines to 10 rounds. Again, Illinois' Kirk was the only Republican to vote for it.

Read more: Year of the Gun: 9 Biggest 2nd Amendment Stories of 2013 | Outdoor Life


 
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