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Feinstein: Bill to Ban Assault Weapons

Bills to return a ban on assault weapons in the United States will be introduced on the first day they are in session next month, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed.

Bills to return a ban on assault weapons in the United States will be introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives on the first day they are in session next month, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed on national television today.

"We've tried to take my bill from '94 to 2004 and perfect it," the California Democrat said on the NBC "Meet The Press" program.

Feinstein authored a federal ban on assault weapons in 1994, a ban that was allowed to expire by Congress in 2004.

On NBC, California's senior senator said her staff has crafted a bill that would "exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not ... fall under the bill."

She said the 1994 assault rifle bill that she wrote was never challenged in court by the National Rifle Association.

"Back in '93, when I told Joe Biden who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee that I was going to move this as an amendment on the Crime Bill, he laughed at me," Feinstein said.

"He said, 'you're new here. Wait till you learn'," Feinstein related. "And we got it through the Senate, we got it through the House, the White House came alive and ... the bill was passed."

The NRA has declined to comment on gun issues since Friday's slaying of 20 grade school children and seven adults in Connecticut.

In 2002, the proposed extension of the assault weapons ban was opposed by the Coalition Against the Semi-Auto Ban, a project of the National Association for Gun Rights.

The group said the original legislation violated the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment; claiming that what the law called assault weapons were rarely used in crimes and that specifying a type of weapon for a ban was a tactic that would lead to banning all weapons.

Feinstein, who just won her fifth Senate election, was propelled to the forefront of California politics when she suddenly became mayor of San Francisco when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated there in 1978. She has been a leading voice for gun control since then.

GammaUt December 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Washy, he'd have killed fewer with 10-round magazines. But let's not confuse weapon type with capacity. Semi-automatic rifle magazines vary in capacity from five rounds to 100: sizes of 10, 20 and 30 are most common. Semi-automatic handgun magazines can carry seven, 10, somewhere in the teens or even north of 30. At close range, there's not much difference between a .223 caliber bullet (i.e., assault weapon caliber) and a 9mm bullet (a common handgun caliber). One has more energy and penetration, the other has more expansion, but in the end they're both lethal. In light of this, the only real difference is capacity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that a law to limit capacity to, say, 10 rounds is a bad idea. In fact, I'm in favor of it; California's 10-round limit should be a federal law. I'm just saying it won't do much to make these mass killings any less horrible. You'd still have a lot of dead kids.
ATC December 20, 2012 at 07:25 PM
"Proven"? No, rather interpreted by the current court. There is a difference. And that interpretation sometimes changes, based on the court's make-up. If everyone in the country agreed 100% with every Supreme Court decision, there would be no need for that court, would there? I also find it ironic that the ACLU is such a strong fighter against racism, unless that racism is directed at whites. Affirmative action, which is racist by definition, is a perfect example.
GammaUt December 20, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Washy, I forgot to connect the dots between the last two paragraphs. Let me do so quickly: Capacity is the problem, not the type of firearm. But reducing the capacity of magazines won't stop a mass shooter. It'll just slow him down, to the tune of 3-6 seconds every 10 shots fired. That may have saved a few lives at Sandy Hook, but honestly, would we as a nation be any less horrified if the death toll were 22?
Ray Russell December 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I'd like to differ to that question on smaller magazines. While smaller. Magazines hold less bullets, they would not have necessarily ment that less would have been killed. That would have depended more on how many clips or magazines were carried and or used. Changing clips only takes a few seconds. and would not cause a shooter to slow down very much. Please remember that these so called assault weapons are semi automatic and require a trigger pull for every shot fired. Unlike military weapons that may be full automatic and fire multiple bullets with each trigger pull. As to banning these weapons, it will do nothing to keep them out of the hands of anyone who wants to get one. Just like banning drugs have not ended the drug problem in this country or like banning alcohol during the probation time period which did not stop any one that wanted to drink. Something needs to be done at the root cause of the mental problems of these shooters.
Michael December 21, 2012 at 08:06 AM
No need to worry about my training, I did my CMP course- funny thing about that is you can't send a gun in the mail- but the government sent me one that way! If you can hit at 300 yards with iron sites (as they make you do) you deserve one in the mail. Sad to hear someone you know got shot. I know someone that died by a drunk driver in a Honda- but I don't feel the need to take alcohol, or Honda's from anyone. There is a serious movement to ban Mustangs now because they are "assault vehicles": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pay_JeoGhDQ I would not support a Mustang ban, but it might be a sensible idea to limit new ones to 10 gallon tanks.

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