Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill
December 16th, 2012
11:43 AM ET
1 year ago

Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill

(CNN) – Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Sunday the president will soon have legislation "to lead on" in the gun control debate, announcing she will introduce a bill next month in the Senate to place a ban on assault weapons.

"We'll be prepared to go, and I hope the nation will really help," Feinstein said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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The senator said she'll introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and the same legislation will also be proposed in the House of Representatives.

"We're crafting this one. It's being done with care. It'll be ready on the first day," she said, adding that she'll soon announce the House authors.

"It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets," she said. "There will be a bill."

Gun rights legislation has gained renewed attention since Friday's deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 students and six adults dead.

Many lawmakers and politicians have called for stricter gun control laws at the federal level, including a revisit to the 1994 former assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 but has yet to be reinstated.

Feinstein, who helped champion the 1994 legislation, said she and her staff have looked at the initial bill and tried to "perfect it."

"We believe we have (perfected it). We exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not fall under the bill, but the purpose of this bill is to get … 'weapons of war' off the street of our cities," she said.

The senator added she believes President Barack Obama will support the legislation. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama said he would support such a ban, but he has been criticized for failing to work toward tighter gun control laws since taking office.

After Friday's shooting, however, the president signaled a change in policy could soon be in place.

"We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," Obama said in his weekly address Saturday, echoing remarks he made Friday after the tragedy.

Feinstein on Sunday praised the assault weapons ban of 1994 for surviving its entire 10-year term and predicted a successful future for her upcoming bill.

"I believe this will be sustained as well," she added. "You know, all of the things that society regulates, but we can't touch guns? That's wrong."


Filed under: Congress • Dianne Feinstein • Gun rights
soundoff (828 Responses)
  1. ru serious

    I'm conservative in most things but when it comes to babies being gunned down, well, enough is enough. Other than military or law enforcement, who needs assault type weapons that fire 100 rounds in seconds? Come on, be reasonable, you only need single shots to kill Bambi or whatever the heck you sportspeople do with your guns. Target practice? Protection? Well, sorry but the safety and well-being of our society trumps that. My other point, if you gun people have wacky kids, do us all a favor and get rid of the arsenal.

    December 16, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Two Eight

    Good. The last thing Americans need is assault weapons, they do a good enough job on each other with personal defense weapons.

    December 16, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Rick

    It's not hard to answer that, Jeff. If I could go back in time, then yes, I would have shot that insect. We should not have to ask ourselves questions like this. The school staff should have been armed and ready to deal with individuals like Mr. Lanza, but they were not. And Senator Feinstein's silly assed gun ban will not help matters any at all. It will only hinder law abiding citizens ability to stop these bozos. If Feinstein and others would do something constructive instead of knee jerks then we might get somewhere. What NEEDS to be done is close all the loopholes so that EVERYONE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION has to undergo a background check before he or she can buy a gun. THAT would be helpful. Banning scary-looking rifles is not.

    December 16, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. learn to survive not succomb

    Tamper with the 2nd Ammendment, then this country will be headed towards civil war. Without the 2A, all other ammendments will go away as well, then we can all say "welcome to the former USA". Veterans, military, Govmt officials and civil LE, time to remember our sworn oath to uphold and defend – without sheep dogs, There's just defenseless sheep.

    Prayers for all, truely sad, yet could have been stopped, even with something as simple as a can of pepper foam and minimal defensive training for the two teachers who attempted to bring the fight to the attacker

    December 16, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. yogi

    Americans have an obscene fascination with guns. Guns sole purpose is to kill, and what is so fascinating about that? It is also about time to completely ignore the NRA and their obscene grip on the congress. Enough is enough!

    December 16, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Rick

    I wish I could smack all the people who wnats laws to force everyone to lock up their guns. Do you people not understand the reason people buy a gun? They do it for self protection and there is NOTHING more USELESS than a gun that is locked up and unloaded. I'll make you a deal here. If just one of you call tell me how to retreive my gun and load it and have it ready to fire in less than 5 seconds, then post here and I'll be happy to listen. Until then, SHUT UP!!

    December 16, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. ron smith

    You need to focus your effort on the fiscal cliff not a gun ban.

    December 16, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Mike

    she needs to write a better assault weapons bill than the 1994 version

    December 16, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Lief

    The bill will never pass the House of Representatives.

    December 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. bobm

    Here we go again, knee-jerk legislation that does not do anything to resolve the issue except make politicians feel good that they did something.

    How is the terror threat color code or making everyone take off their shoes before we fly on an airplane keeping us any safer?

    The shooter was deranged, the fire arms were legal, the shooter killed his mother to obtain the weapons, and the shooter broke into a school that was a gun-free zone.
    Let work on those issues.

    Ms Feinstein had the audacity to say that some children were riddled with 10 to 12 bullet wounds. So that makes a difference to the victim's families? One wound or 200, the victim is dead.

    December 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. yogi

    Violence is glorified by millions, and the only reason that violent movies and video games are being produced is that there is a big market for these products. A 20 year old has beed exposed all his life to violence on tv and in the movies, and the result is: junk in, junk out. It is baffling that people always ask "why?" after another massacre.
    It seems that civilization is far away from Ghandi's ideals of non-violence.

    December 16, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Jerry

    Civilians do not need an assault rifle, Hand guns and hunting rifles are just fine!

    December 16, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. donwhitebread

    Good going, Dianne. I'm glad to see someone with real courage step up for what's right.

    What's missing from the discussion is any explanation of a useful purpose for these weapons of mass destruction. If they aren't good for anything other than killing people in volume, why should anyone outside the military own them? Weak conspiracy myths about black helicopters, UN takeovers and the Zombie Apocalypse as excuses to oppose any kind of gun control sound selfish and sociopathic when there are are real classrooms of real dead kids to mourn..

    December 16, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Amy Raught

    Banning guns of any kind is not the answer. Law abiding people do not typically use them to commit a crime, let alone go on a shooting spree in an Elementary School. How about we start with things like video games? Children today see all kinds of violence with Call of Duty and games like that. They use these same "games" to train our combat men and women. Children need to stop being introduced to this kind of stuff. What fun is there in gunning down people. Apparently a lot, these games fly off the shelves and more and more people are going out and doing it for real.

    One more thing. People need to get a grip on what is abuse and what is punishment. I was smack with an open hand, hit with a leather belt and on one occasion picked up by the hair on my head. Was I abused? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! I was loved and taught right from wrong. Children today do not get any kind of punishment and if they do the noisey neighbor turns them in for abuse. Ground a child and someone will turn you in unlawful restraint, smack a childs hand and you will get turned in for abuse. Children today get a way with everything. Stop finding medically terms for them and actually teach your child that they can't have everything and they are not always right!

    December 16, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. JD in OR

    Blaming guns for these types of tragedies is like blaming the pencil for spelling words wrong. Why not look at ways to deal with the people who have mental problems that makes these things happen? Make that the focus of dealing with people rather than blaming the tool.

    December 16, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. peanut

    cocaine
    heroine
    prostitution
    speeding
    drinking and driving
    child abuse
    pedophilia

    I can go on. These are other things 'banned' to make us safe. Lets just ban everything, right? feeling safe is more important than looking and what the root is to these problems.

    December 16, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Krisagi

    Banning guns wont eliminate violence. Guns(such as the Glock or the AR-15) are neither inherently good nor evil it is how the gun is used that defines what it is. A Computer is the same way. Put the computer in the hands of a child and you have a entertainment device or an educational device. Put that same computer in the hands of someone like Kevin Mitnick and you have a weapon of unknown potential. Or even worse put that same computer in the hands of a child predator like Dr. Pete Thomas and you have a way to harm children. Last example based on the 1d10cy of disgraced Florida Lawyer Jack Thompson computers can also be used as murder simulators. Based on the ignorance of people like Dianne Feinstein and Jack Thompson since people like Kevin Mitnick and Pete Thomas can use computers to harm people we should ban all computers.

    December 16, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Cindy

    Why does anyone need to have an assault weapon? Why did the mother of a son that had psychological problems have to have a machine gun? If you need a gun to protect yourself why can't you protect yourself with six bullets instead of twenty? Any gun that holds over 6 bullets should be banned. Maybe it won't stop all the killing but it could have stopped twenty two deaths. Yes I know he would have traded guns but all those teachers and little babies were shot at least three times so maybe if he only had enough bullets to shoot everyone one time maybe most of them would be alive today.

    December 16, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. thedudes

    Last year 559.000 deaths from heart disease, 440,000 deaths from smoking/second hand, 210,000 deaths from conditions related to diabetes and 34,000 automobile deaths and just over 10,000 from firearms. Feinstein puts firearms at the top of her list. I dont get it. Maybe she should look at banning cigarettes, regulating McDonalds, taking the high fructose corn syrup manufacturers to court and closing down GM. Any shooting of innocents is terribly, but a national crisis it is not. There are far more important things for our government to work on.

    December 16, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Mark

    What is an assault weapon? Can't any "weapon" be an assault weapon? I'll be I could assault a group of people with my .38 Smith and Wesson 5 round revolver. I have bad news for those who want to end gun ownership, unless you repeal the 2nd Amendment, and you never will, the violence will never end. Until you can change the nature of man, nothing will work.

    December 16, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Peter

    Mrs Feinstein, people have armed themselves because we are rightfully scared of this corrupt government. Hello Waco, Ruby Ridge fast and furious federal gun running, Washington corruptness the destruction of God and everything once American tradition. You and the rest of the Washington pass laws that only apply to some and not yourselves, you and the rest of the Washington elite are to be viewed as the perpetrators of the moral and physical destruction of America. On top of all that , you are passing and or are complicit in allowing so many rules and regulations to be inflicted on everyone that our economy is smothered. For me, I believe that this congress and president are really doing what you can to insure the destruction of the American spirit and way of life. NONE OF YOU IS TO BE TRUSTED. Oh, I'm sorry, we have to wait for you to pass things in the dark so we'll know whats in it.

    December 16, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. Bharat

    Also make sure when couple get devorce, issuing authority ask couple any one own gun. If they said yes tell them to return back before they get official devorce.

    December 16, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. JH

    As always, it's an inanimate object's fault, and no blame lies with the individual who took such unspeakable actions. Fits right in with the liberal left's position that personal accountability is less of the heart of the matter than who (or what) else can be blamed. WHEN is this country going to address the issue of mental health and the care of those who suffer from disorders that affect the brain?

    December 16, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. econ man

    What a waste of time and money. Wasting resources is the only thing this country is good at. It is probably a good idea to stop with the reactionary policies as well... "Something terrible happened! We better pass a law to stop it from happening again without thinking of any other consequences the law may have!" -said every politician ever.

    December 16, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. Wellknown123456

    It's a simple fact: Less guns = more lives saved. That's one I can live with.

    December 16, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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