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Gun Control Bill Not Likely To Be Taken Up By Senate, Says Senior Dem Aide

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HARRY REID SENATE GUN CONTROL
The Senate isn't likely to bring up a gun control bill this year due to a busy schedule, a senior Democratic aide says. | AP

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has vowed to renew his push for gun safety legislation in response to Friday's shooting massacre in Aurora, Colo., but it doesn't appear that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would bring up such legislation for a vote. At least, not this year.

A senior Democratic aide told The Huffington Post on background that Lautenberg's bill, which would limit the availability of high-capacity magazines, isn't likely to go anywhere because of the Senate's busy schedule.

"Not this work period," said the aide. "We'll see about September, but given the schedule and the need to do a [continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill], I doubt it."

The Senate's current work period runs through Aug. 3, at which point the Senate goes on recess until Sept. 10.

A Reid spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The White House has already signaled that President Barack Obama isn't likely to push for new gun control measures in the wake of the Aurora shootings. Not that that should be too surprising: neither Obama nor congressional leaders pushed for changes to gun laws after the Jan. 2011 shootings in Tucson that claimed six lives and nearly took the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

The president "believes we need to take steps that protect Second Amendment rights of the American people but that ensure that we are not allowing weapons into the hands of individuals who should not, by existing law, obtain those weapons," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Sunday.

"The president's view is that we can take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under existing law," he added later. "And that's his focus right now."

Lautenberg's communications director Caley Gray said despite the uphill battle, the senator is currently "exploring every option" for advancing his bill.

"Sen. Lautenberg is committed to moving this bill immediately," Gray told The Huffington Post.

The bill also has the added benefit of having two members of Democratic leadership as cosponsors: Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.).

This is a developing story and has been updated.

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