At local rally, activists angry over lack of weapons ban in gun control bill

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gun control legislation has hit the Senate.

Democratic leader Harry Reid has introduced legislation that would expand background checks and tighten school security.

But it's what's not included that has victims of gun violence and local  activists up in arms.

There's no assault weapons ban in Harry Reid's bill.

At a rally held in Sanborn Square Thursday, gun control supporters said victims of gun violence deserve a vote.

"Very disappointed. I can not believe it," said Mary Ann Simpson of West Palm Beach.

Her 23-year-old son was killed by a gun in West Palm Beach in 2005.

No one's been caught. She had hoped for an assault weapons ban.

"You're saying it's OK to kill," said Simpson.

Others at tonight's rally had less-personal connections to gun violence. But their disappointment in the majority leader is very real.

Reid says he'll allow amendments to his bill that would ban assault weapons, but they still say Reid let down core Democratic supporters.

"Astounded," said Mary Ellen Kennett of Deerfield Beach.

"He will hear from us," said Arlene Owens of Boca Raton.

"It's a letdown but we get those all the time," said Deborah Davis of Deerfield Beach.

Rep. Ted Deutch says Reid should let the ban see the floor.

"There is an expectation that the American people have that we will debate this and that we'll vote on it, " Deutch said.

The concern at the rally was that an assault weapons ban is not being debated on its merits, but rather because of opposition from politically powerful groups like the NRA.

"They're so afraid to go on record." Simpson says the time to stop saying things - and start doing them - was yesterday.

But she'll take "now."

"Always have hope," said Simpson. "That's why we are here. To fight."

Rep. Deutch has pledged to take a leading role on any gun control legislation that comes up in the House of Representatives.

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