Todd Beamon at Newsmax reports:
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin will hold a hearing on gun violence Feb. 12 as Democrats grapple with crafting a new gun control bill.
The Illinois Democrat chairs the Judiciary Committee’s subpanel on the Constitution, civil rights and human rights.
The Judiciary Committee is expected to begin marking up a new gun-control bill by the end of the month, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Wednesday. The major question for committee members is whether a ban on assault weapons proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will be included in that legislation. Durbin is a supporter of the assault weapons ban.
Feinstein, who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, will also hold her own subcommittee hearing before any bill is considered. No date has been set for that hearing yet.
Gun violence has been a major problem in Chicago, with more than 500 shooting deaths in 2012. More than 40 murders took place in January alone, including the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl who marched on President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade last week. That total was the highest for the month of January in a decade, according to Chicago newspapers.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former House member and White House chief of staff, has already proposed additional restrictions to what is already one of the most strict gun-control regimes in the country.