By DAVID KLEPPER | Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A renewed push to ban semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines in Rhode Island is facing difficult political hurdles.

The bills were first introduced last year after the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Despite support from top lawmakers like ex-Speaker Gordon Fox, the bills never got a vote following vocal opposition from gun rights supporters.

The bills face the same political challenges this year. Gun rights supporters recently rallied on the Statehouse steps and denounced the bills as an attempt to violate the Second Amendment.

Supporters of the bills face another obstacle: new Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, a Cranston Democrat who was chosen last week to lead the House. Mattiello says he is a supporter of gun rights and he has received high marks from the National Rifle Association.