A Senate committee is ready to approve an assault weapons ban. But once that happens, even the measure's sponsor concedes that it faces a difficult path through Congress.
The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee seemed all but certain to approve the proposal Thursday, probably on a party-line vote.
Once it gets to the full Senate, probably next month, the measure seems unlikely to survive because of opposition from Republicans and some moderate Democrats. It also stands little chance of approval in the GOP-run House.
The sponsor, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, says she'll need all the help she can get because she'll be facing an 800-pound gorilla - the powerful National Rifle Association.
The ban was a major part of President Barack Obama's January package of gun-control proposals.