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. Paul

    Good for her. Now let's see insurance companies raise premiums for home, health, car, and life on people who own firearms based on the number and type you own. It's isn't a secret that gun owners are abusing the 2nd and turning guns into a collect as many as you can hobby rather than home protection. Let's see cities tax the hell out of any homeowner based on type and number they own.

    December 16, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. adampeart

    The Swiss are required by law to own a gun. True story. Not a lot of gun violence over there. Guns don't create monsters, our society does. Good work collectivists. Your kid is antsy at the indoctrination center known as public school? You better dope him up. That surely will leave them with a promising future.

    December 16, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. ecboston

    I don't think this changes much in the american gun debate. First thing I was told this morning when I got to work was if you want an AR 15, better buy it now. I would think gun shops will be having record weeks in sales for the next few months. Talking ban just puts more weapons on the street. I am a believer in the second amendment but some thing has to change. I'm not sure what but this cannot continue.

    December 16, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. j0nx

    So I assume that all politicians will take the lead on this and tell their own security details to relinquish all firearms right? Right? Bueller...

    Why should politicians be allowed security with firearms when we aren't afforded the same rights. These people work for us, not the other way around. Better remember that folks. And soon.

    December 16, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Concerned Citizen

    I keep reading comments about gun control and I assure the public a lot has been done to make sure guns are sold to responsible citizens. The thing that concerns me is the amount of violence we keep introducing our young people to through television and video games. As these medias are watched and used by so many people, we continue to desensitize the minds of these young people to the effects of such actions. We continue to talk about gun control without considering underlying effect of the minds that we are losing to TV and game violence. And along with that we should tell the Ad Council to clean up the ads on television, I would let any of my children watch night time television due to the adult content of the ads. America needs to wake up to its real problems and it is not more gun control...

    December 16, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. robert

    I believe this legislation will work. Why? Because criminals follow the law. While we are at it let's ban; forks, knifes, spoons, pots, pans, cars, trucks, bats, and any other object that can be used as a weapon in an assault.

    December 16, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. NameJason Royce Pierce

    A ban on assault rifles wont fix the problem all the ban will do is take them away from or outlaw the sale of them to lagitamate people who believe in the constitution and 2nd amendment the righto own and bear arms to protect our families and ourselves . This ban isn't going to stop a criminal from buying a gunto do the same thing. What needs to be done is to give teachers and faculty of schools in these regions where this happens the proper training in using a firearm and the authority and right to have it at school on school trips this in itself would be a deterrent to wouldbe mass shooters.

    December 16, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. Rick

    I give my condolences to the families of the ones who where killed by this psychopath with a deadly weapon. But for some reason I'm the one getting punished. By getting my rights taken away. And if this does not get them what theif after and that is to leave us defenceless then watch out they may becoming to a school or a mall or a movie theater near you. Scare enough people and we will all look like terrorist.

    December 16, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Jon

    kr. Do you really think that the people that intend to go out and commit murder with a firearm will take the time to carry any sort of insurance on a gun, or have it registered? No. They will buy an illegal firearm and go about their business. That kind of legislation will not stop crime. It will just mean that the owners who we don't have to worry about, will go through more hassle to keep the firearms they have. The people that would go through that trouble, certainly would never have any intentions of committing the type of crimes we have seen. The case in this CT shooting is that, the owner should've had her firearms properly locked away so that her mentally ill son couldn't get to them.

    December 16, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. albeitspiro

    Yes! A ban on weapons that is exactly what we need!...NO. This is just the senate's way of appealing to the people and rallying more votes for themselves in any future election. Guns do not kill people, people do that. People have always done that, and history as we know repeats itself. It's our nature. Mental illnesses, poor parenting, take your pick. I can tell you from my experience traveling the world with the military, the bad guys...they don't play by the rules, they don't care. It makes what they want to do easier. Same goes for theparents that raise pacifists, Yes, tell your children that violence is wrong, so when Joe comes to take his wallet, your "pacifist" boy/girl is just easier to assault. Banning weapons only hurts us. Instead, Congress should make it more lenient for officials such as "A Principal" or "A Teacher" or other citizens in good moral standing to have weapons and if they have due responsibility in that area, such as a "Principal or a Teacher", then they should be allowed to carry their weapon there. For those of you who claim we have the 2nd amendment that already does this, let me be the first to say...Corrupt local and federal politics have truly ruined that dream. Condolences to all those whom have lost loved ones through violence. It's a tough world out there.

    December 16, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Paul Rifenberg

    Israeli teachers all carry weapons. They don't have this problem. Ever.

    December 16, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. FrankDean

    I almost want to dare Democrats to do this again. this is exactly why bush got in office in the first place. I've been voting democrat because i do not believe in giving tax breaks to the rich and dems have not attacked guns, however if this goes into effect i will be hopping on the red bandwagon. How about they focus on the fact that this is an issue with people being psycho and quit attacking guns. FACT if every teacher had a gun on them and was trained this wouldnt have happened.

    December 16, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Name

    So the fact that in California there is an assult weapon ban and still there are hundreds of death each year do to what? If you out a ban on assult weapons it will still be possible to get your hands on one and In all honesty it would be 100 times easier now you can regulate just like they did when this kid went and tried to buy a gun and was turned down

    December 16, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. Bob Klingenberg

    Look at way the group shootings have been taking place. All were in states and cities that had strict gun control laws. If th administrators of that school had been issued guns the shooter could have been taken down rapidly and lives saved. The only exception was Rep. Gifford in Arizona. There people are allowed to carry hand guns. Unfortunately, her shooting took place at a rally for her, an anti American Congresswoman speaking to a bunch of illegal aliens and union thugs. No one around to take down the shooter. Feinstein's type of bill is easy to circumvent. They can't ban the guns...just certain fittings that will be changed. Feinstein would be of a better service if she concentrated on legislation that bans members of Congress like her from funneling millions of dollars to their spouses.

    December 16, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Alex Hernandez

    You may as well ban knives, baseball bats, etc, etc, etc. This must include automobiles since they can be used as mass death weapons. Tougher criminal sentences would make more sense. Strickter gun laws will only put more weapons into the criminals that don't care about the law.

    December 16, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  16. Larry L

    @Ancient Texan

    It is thought that identifying and deporting 12 million Illegals immigrants would be impossible......Finding and confiscating all of the firearms in America would be a thousand times harder. That will not happen ! Extreme violence would result if attempted.
    ================================================================================================Nobody has proposed "confiscating" any weapons. That's something stupid for the N.R.A. and Fox News to say to get you people riled up. Some have proposed licensing for gun ownership – to help pay for background checks, limiting the sale of high-capacity magazines, a waiting period for purchases, a trrasnsfer fee for gun transfer/sales, and closing the gun-show loophole by requiring FFL dealers to manage the transfer of all firearms. Those are reasonable actions to try to limit an out-of-control problem with weapon distribution and an excess of offensive capability. Make no mistake – the right-wing gun culture has created a fantasy world of violence for these crazies to feed on... Texas is the epicenter.

    December 16, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. TheBob

    Good luck with that.

    December 16, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Eugene Brown

    The gun used in newtown wasn't even an assault rifle, an assault rifle was found in the car. big brother wants to disarm us by any means necessary

    December 16, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. toby

    Everyone wants to blame this on guns but guns don't shoot themselves there's tons of people who own similar guns that don't do anything they should go through a more thorough process in sale suuch as consulting family members and gaining more background information about that person.. they didn't take air palnes away after 9/11 they improved security

    December 16, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. InTheKnow

    While they are at it they should ban high sugar drinks, any food product with a fat content over 20%, and cigarettes/cigars. In addition, we should ban all marketing for products like these. They should also mandate physical exercise every day for all citizens punishable by fine. These all lead to the actual leading causes of death (Heart Disease, Cancer, Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases, and Strokes). If we become as horrified by obese people and chain smokers (and the marketing companies that support these habitual results) as we are about gun violence (which statistically is only 2.5% of these other causes of death) it would increase everyone's quality of living.

    Source for data: CDC

    December 16, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. dondijon

    I'm with Alen West on this subject, The only thing the Federal Government can legally require the populace to purchase Constitutionally is Firearms and I suggest they Do so. Make it mandatorey as is stated in the Artiicles of Militia as is plainly written. If every Able Bodied man in this Country were to be armed, it would all but eliminate an incidence like this. Evil people will allways try to go after those whom cannot fight back ( Just think a Powerful Government) A Government that is powerful enought to give You everything You Want is Powerful enough to take everything You Have.)( "T. Jefferson)). . If a single Janitor or teacher would have been in possesion of a gun, (ANY GUN) This incident could have been potentially less Devistating or perhaps the only one to die would have been the assailent.... the point is, if it is a designated Gun FREE zone it needs to be monitired, and PATROLED by very ARMED SECURITY...

    December 16, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. Over the hill

    We limit the speed a car can be driven, we can limit the amount of bullets and the type of bullets that are fired from a gun.
    EdD: Let them buy them all up make it so that if they sell or give that assualt weapon to anyone else, they will go to prison. If you want one.. make sure you keep it.

    December 16, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  23. norma jean

    You who are so casual about gun ownership should have to meet with the families who lost their childrem and maybe tou'd at least understand a need for major changes in gun ownership....you seem to take it rather lightly ...guess that;s because it wasn't your kids!!
    !!

    December 16, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  24. Pete

    First the implimentation of more strengent guidelines if someone is that serious about buying a weapon..Psychological testing is a must and a more thorough background check as I've gone through working for the NRC for over 30 years,its expensive but worth the cost considereing the lives possibly saved and no price could be put on those little ones just recently murdered needlessly..A ban should also be put on assault weapons,not just rifles of the AR15,AK47 carbine type ,all types and make it a very harsh penalty if caught with one unless properly licenced.Made proper weapons safety a major class that has to be taken and after that some time of refreshed courses that keeps the indivigual up on his responsibility as a weapon owner..Tracibility is also a key always knowing where the owner and weapons are as well and if sold they go through the same process as a new purchase,no shortcuts even in buying used weapons because they can harm someone in used condition as well as new...And make a law so severe in a weapons violation owners or whoever that has a weapon will think twice before using one outside the guidelines it was intended for,protection or recreational use like hunting or target shooting ,competition..Make ammo traceable as well if bought in large quantities just to make sure its being purchased for personal ,not military type use...These guidelines seen severe but if you've lost a love one to a person using a gun that wasn't supposed too you'd be more than glad if these guidelines were agreed upon..NRA,grow a pair and help this president in stopping this needless violence,its your extremism that's cost some of these problems so act as responsible adults Nugent,Norris,Norquists, Selick and others that are board members,you're all responsible one way or another for this,now get together and clean it up!!

    December 16, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Name

    Bless you assault weapon proponents you know not what you do. You are blind and single minded – you and your obsession is what had allowed these weapons of mass murder to come about to be used against innocents you and your god the NRA

    December 16, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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