MADISON, Wis. -

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a supporter of gun control for a decade in the House, has shied away from talk of a proposed ban on assault weapons, disappointing some gun control advocates.

The liberal Democrat's cautious path shows the altered thought process of a new senator now representing one of the nation's most politically balanced states--one with a strong hunting tradition--rather than just one of its most left-leaning congressional districts.

It also illuminates the rocky road ahead for the provision in the Senate.

Six Democratic senators from Baldwin's neighboring states have either declared as co-sponsors or supporters of the ban. But Baldwin has stressed the broader support for gun control measures based on expanded background checks.