Feinstein: Election year not ideal for gun debate

July 22, 2012 - 11:43 AM
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A memorial for shooting victims of the movie theater shooting is seeN Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in the attack early Friday, July 20, 2012 at the packed theater during a showing of the movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." in Aurora, Colo. Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Hyoung Chang) TV, INTERNET AND MAGAZINES CALL FOR RATES AND TERMS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein says the nation needs to have a "sane" discussion on gun control and ban military-style assault weapons. But the California Democrat acknowledges that probably won't happen before the November election.

Feinstein tells "Fox News Sunday" that "people haven't rallied" in years because of the power and reach of the gun lobby, and that with the election looming, "it's a bad time to embrace a new subject."

President Barack Obama called for reinstating the ban during his 2008 presidential campaign. But since his election, he hasn't worked to get that done or back other proposals.

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson challenged Feinstein on Fox by saying the issue wasn't about guns, but rather "sick, demented individuals." Feinstein disagreed, saying "people use these weapons because they can get them."