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“He has a right to say it, and it doesn’t mean he’s always right,” she said.

But Mr. Reid insisted to reporters Tuesday that “this is an issue that we’re not going to run from.”

“It may not be everything everyone wants,” he said, “but I hope it has some stuff in there that’s really important.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, has scheduled a hearing next Wednesday on gun violence. Mrs. Feinstein has already introduced legislation to combat illegal purchasing by straw buyers, where a person buys a gun for someone who is not able to buy one legally, and to strengthen existing laws to combat gun smuggling.

“I’m not going to go away,” she said. “I’m second in seniority on that committee, and I will do it on the floor if it’s not in the bill. I am not going to quit.”

Her legislation also requires background checks on all future transfers of assault weapons covered by the legislation, mandates that “grandfathered” assault weapons be stored safely, and prohibits the sale or transfer of high-capacity, ammunition-feeding devices currently in existence.