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State Ban Outcome Called Unclear

From a Times Staff Writer

Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) said Wednesday that he does not believe there are now enough votes in the Assembly to pass legislation outlawing military-style assault weapons, but he said advocates of the ban are closing in on the needed support.

In a Capitol news conference, Brown said he hopes the Legislature will vote on the weapons bill before its Easter recess March 16.

The Speaker said he has polled 60 of the 80 members of the Assembly and found 38 “sure” votes for the Assembly’s version of the gun bill, only three short of the 41-vote majority needed. Even so, Brown declared that he is “not absolutely certain” of having enough votes once the bill actually gets to the Assembly floor.

Before the bill can go to the full house, it must be approved by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, a hurdle Brown said he is confident it will clear.

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