Bloomberg by the Numbers: 39

Photograph by Brendan Smialoswki/AFP via Getty Images

A person uses a cell phone to photograph assault style weapons before a press conference on Capitol Hill on Jan. 24, 2013.

That’s how many current senators were serving in the Senate when it sought nine years ago to extend a ban on certain semiautomatic “assault weapons.”

In March 2004, the Senate voted 52-47 for a 10-year extension of a ban on 19 assault weapons that was enacted in 1994. The extension was approved as an amendment to a gun industry liability bill that ultimately never passed, and the ban lapsed.

A ban on assault weapons is one part of President Barack Obama’s plan to curb gun violence following a shooting last month in Newtown, Connecticut. A proposed ban “faces opposition in Congress even as a majority of the public supports it,” Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla wrote yesterday, when shooting victims and gun-rights advocates testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Republicans control the House of Representatives, and Democrats have a majority of seats in the Senate.

Of the 39 current senators who were in the Senate in March 2004, 19 voted to extend the assault weapons ban and 19 voted against it. South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson didn’t vote. This compilation excludes Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, the incoming Secretary of State whose resignation from the Senate is effective tomorrow.

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