RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. 

Moderate Democrats joined Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday in rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds. 

The bill was a top priority for Northam, a Democrat who has campaigned heavily for a broad package of gun-control measures.  

House Bill 961 passed the Virginia House last week. Lawmakers advanced the bill to the Senate where it was unlikely to pass. 

Committee members voted 10-5 to continue the measure to the 2021 legislative session. In the meantime, it will be sent to a Crime Commission where it will be studied.

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