Harry Reid to vote for bans on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, an NRA supporter, announced on Wednesday morning he will vote for bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines being offered as amendments one month after pulling those bans from a package of overall gun-reform legislation.

"I will vote for [Sen.] Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban," Reid announced on the Senate floor as the chamber prepared to begin voting later Wednesday on gun legislation amendments.

The Nevada Democrat, who noted Wednesday that he has a B rating from the NRA and who has voted against past assault weapon bans, said his opinion has evolved and he no longer understands why assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are necessary.

"I don’t know anyone who needs 30 rounds in a weapon to go hunting. Don’t people deserve as much protection as birds?" he asked, referring to laws that limit the number of shells in shotguns used by hunters.

The assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines were dropped from the overall legislation due to their controversial nature and the prospect that their inclusion in a bill would doom overall legislation. The Senate is expected to vote on multiple amendments late Wednesday related to background checks, human trafficking and other measures.