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. gregory

    Just as big a factor in these shootings is that liberals refuse to allow the sharing of mental health information with those conducting background checks because of privacy laws such as Herpa and Ferpa laws which they value above public safety. They would rather allow mentally ill people access to guns, and try to keep anyone from having guns. Also, Obama's own administration would rather let 2000 assault rifles to go to mexican drug gangs, than to law-abiding US citizens. Not exactly the moral high ground on this issue. It is also misleading to claim that assault rifles are the same as our military. Military weapons are fully automatic, civilian models are semi-automatic, a big difference in rate of fire.

    December 16, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. jack

    Hey gun nuts-think, really think about what you are saying. What's wrong with you?

    December 16, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. beak

    I am really sick of these hippie tree huggers using a tragedy to promote there political agenda!! A couple things:
    1. THE ASSULT WEAPON WASNT EVEN USED!!! Quit using this as your agenda to pass a ban.
    2. BTW.....Do criminals give a $- if you ban weapons?? The ONLY people this will hurt will be the innocent, who would now be UNABLE to purchase weapons to defend themselves!!
    3. What, hasnt it been 50+ children who have been stabbed in china over the last 2 years, a country that has BANNED ALL GUNS?? What, we going to ban knives next??

    BTW....I am not a gun owner (yet), and I agree this is a senseless, unbelievable tragedy. One thing I am is a parent, and as a father, I wish nothing more then for these people not to take there own lives and let the parents have them. But, the pistols (notice I didnt say 'assault weapon' since it wasnt involved) didnt kill people, just like the knives in china didnt kill people, the evil person killed people. Time for us to start providing the innocent children BETTER PROTECTION and more DETERENT to these crazies. Make then think twice about going out and 'making a statement'. Too those that are using this as a podium.....use your head. I cant WAIT for you to try and take away these good old boys toys, rights, and protection.....think you have problems now???

    December 16, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. Smeagel4T

    Ut oh... apparently the NRA wasn't able to bribe Feinstein enough.

    December 16, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Booseyboo

    Pandering!!!! Address the other half of the issue...mentally ill people who have access to guns. I'm sorry that some people are mentally ill but just as some want gun control there needs to be more control over the mentally ill.

    December 16, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Worf

    Ha! So the 'Obama is coming for my guns' is going to be true.

    December 16, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    It's about time we ban assault weapons and large ammunition magazines. NO ONE beyond the police and the military needs this level of destructive and deadly weaponry. The Constitution has amendments for a reason – to keep it relevant to the times – it is time to make the 2nd Amendment recognize our current society, our increasing gun violence, and the answer is NOT to make schools armed encampments. It is to ban weapons of mass destruction and to limit access to sport weapons only. No one with a gun in their home rarely is able to access it IF someone were to invade their house. The people who usually get shot are family members, children gaining access to these weapons, and women whose husbands are abusers. We CAN stop mass shootings and it starts with mass selling of assault weapons to anyone who wants one. NO ONE needs one and they are not toys.

    December 16, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. genius

    jeff, yeah, that's a great idea! why don't we all carry guns, then the potential shooters never know who will be firing back a them, right? brilliant....it will be the old Wild West all over again...but, there's a reason why those days passed..think about it

    December 16, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. Rekka

    Jeff...what would have happened were the teachers allowed to be armed? The teacher would be shot while trying to get her gun, not to mention load it. Surely you wouldn't want to send a child to a school where loaded guns were at hand....that's not only a terrible message to kids but an open invitation for all sorts of horrific accidents.

    December 16, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. tom

    The shooter went for the softest target available. Had there been armed security on the premises, or had certain school officials been trained and armed, this likely would have had a different outcome. Instead of learning anything, our wise legislators will go after the inanimate objects. After which the next crazy will use revolvers, bombs, Molotov cocktails, or whatever else he can get his hands on, with the same predictable results.

    December 16, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. John Curler

    Seriously, A SWAT team in every school?? that's the answer! More cops with full auto.. That is most definetly not the answer...

    December 16, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. Rekka

    Also, it's true that banning assault weapons can't stop all such crimes, but the number of impulse crimes can be hugely reduced. The US is about the only developed nation which permits guns to be readily available, and we have the highest number of murders by firearm per capita of any nation.

    December 16, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Gun control is not going to help get rid of people who go out and kill. Mos citizens who have guns do not do the crime.
    The last 2 sad shootings were done by individuals who took someone gun which was registeres. Most crimes are committed by individuals who steal guns and have issues with themselves.

    December 16, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Can we stop using the term "Assault weapons?"

    Does anyone actually know what this means?

    Automatic weapons are already banned, do people just want any semi-automatic rifle banned? Functionally a lot of them are no different from hunting rifles, they're just colored black.

    It seems more like people just want to ban scary things they don't understand instead of actually dealing with the issue of mental health in the US. The only group this bill would effect is collectors, just like the last assault weapons ban that did absolutely nothing.

    December 16, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. gregory

    Who created the culture of violence? Liberal Hollywood with their violent filled movies, video game makers and the liberals who defend them in the name of free speech.

    December 16, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. JoeBlow

    How about we put crazy kids in loony bins? We had them before Ronnie Reagan opened their doors and closed them down to save money.

    December 16, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    NRA supporters just don't get it. No one is confiscating their guns. The proposed legislation only affects assault weapons. Both sides need to cool the rhetoric and heated catch phrases when discussing gun issues.

    December 16, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. Ryan Mitchell

    THis makes me sick. Anyone politicizing a massacre like this is barely deserving of the title human being.

    December 16, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Rober Napier

    The first time I saw my 12-year step son playing a video game, he ripped a head and spine off a body and held it dripping blood. My reaction was there was something inherently wrong with young people playing violent and graphic games. Violent video games and movies play into this culture of violence in America.

    December 16, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  20. Jack Brown

    This country is sick. The 2nd ammendmant is constatly upheld by gun lovers who defend their rights to have guns. Maybe they should study their history and see when that was written. I would bet none of them would support go back to using those kind of firearms. All guns should be eliminated. I'm tired of hearing the arguments about how if someone had a gun they "could have taken him out before he did this". Go back another step. If guns were banned then the guy wouldn't have been there in the first place. Americans are stupid and ignorant. For me I will move to a civilised country.

    December 16, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. AG

    Thank you Senator Feinstein. The President and the Congress need to lead on banning assault weapons. This senseless policy that people need these weapons must end.

    December 16, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Dan L.

    We should impliment training programs to teach law abiding citizens how to safely use firearms and make it easier for them to carry them. We should be promoting the arming of schools, office buildings, factorys, and stores. Signs that say,Guns baned on these premises, are just an invite for these deranged people. They never go into gun stores or shooting ranges and try to shoot them up because many of the workers in these places are armed. They banned booze in the 20's and look what happened. I thought we are supposed to learn from history?

    December 16, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. Raji the Green Witch

    the bottom line is, WE, the American people have been demonstrating that we can NOT be trusted to take proper care of semi-automatic Assault style weapons and we should LOSE the right to have them. From now on, if you want to play with the weapons of WAR then enlist in the military where you get the proper training AND the opportunity to use them to your heart's content. And the NICE thing is, it will be AWAY from OUR kids, schools, playgrounds, Malls, movie theaters and Streets. You want to PLAY war? Then GO to war and do it right.

    December 16, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. JOHN

    I happen to live in central Mexico (old Mexico). The narcos and the Zetas have tons of guns that are all illegal. The general public is unarmed. Mexico is just shy of registering 50,000 deaths from guns and other violence in 6 years. I think Jeff at Dec. 16, 4:51PM has the most sane statement.// Our daughter was in the church in Colorado a few years back on a Sunday morning when a shooter came in. A good friend of hers (a woman) had a legal concealed gun and took the man out! Come on America, wake up!

    December 16, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. Bart

    Almost all of the provisions of the assualt weapons ban do nothing but take scary looking guns away. These guns are functionally no different than a traditional hunting rifle, one pull of the trigger equals one flying bullet. The same technology has been available for roughly 100 years but the issue of school shootings has been around only roughly 15 years. Get to the real source of the problem, not this feel good garbage.

    December 16, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
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