Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill
December 16th, 2012
11:43 AM ET
2 years 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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. silly

    It will never pass the House. Posture all you want

    December 16, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Billy

    I see a lot of people clamoring for more gun control, an assault weapons ban...we are such a reactive society....this shooter had serious mental health issues..he tried to buy a firearm at a local sporting goods store and was turned down, he didn't use any assault weapons..as it is true assault weapons have a six month long waiting period to get them and they are notoriously expensive....I have a secret security clearance and I had to wait ten days to get my Springfield XD handgun. This killer broke numerous gun laws..he stole the guns he used...there was even a sign on the school door that said guns are not allowed. He must have not seen it. In 2001 terrorists killed over 3000 people...did we ban box cutter knives and planes? Timothy Mcveigh killed 120 using fertilizer..did we ban fertilizer.....?.why is alcohol legal...? How many people are killed by cars and drunk drivers..? Do we yell to ban alcohol? No....we enact harsh penalties, and rightly so.... but politicians will continue to take our freedoms and rights away...evil people exist, a deranged man killed people, and ironically a gun killed him in the end.

    December 16, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. littlelizard

    Bystander...the .223 can be considered a combat round. That is the size round that is standard for the M16, which was standard military issue. I used that round in Vietnam. It can be a very devastating round.

    December 16, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Douglas P. Jackson

    Now it's been revealed by the boy's aunt in a separate CNN article:

    "She had issues with school," said the aunt, who lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois. "I'm not 100% certain if it was behavior or learning disabilities, but he was a very, very bright boy. He was smart."

    There are dynamics that Senator Feinstein ought to get a handle on before she starts with the gun control hysteria.

    I am so shamed Dianne Feinstein represents me in the State of California.

    December 16, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. bubba4637

    I suppose it's to be expected: the kneejerk overkill legislation banning assault weapons. Go ahead, pass the legislation, make it the law of the land. But I tell you, it won't save 1 life.

    Laws will have no effect on when someone's brain becomes homicidal. Even a totalitarian regime would not be able to stop it.

    Alas, I don't know what the solution is.

    December 16, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. C.Heston

    If the wacko has used a Wicket Bat, would we be holding hands, singing Kumbaya and introducing Wicket Bat Control legislation?

    December 16, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Brendan

    When she says that she wants them off the streets, does that include the police? If not, why not? Surely the police don't need "weapons of war", do they?

    December 16, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. C.Heston

    @Richard.
    Do we limit how many cars and homes that people can own. Wow. That would be social justice.
    What about how many steak knives can be within in 300 meters of a school or church?

    December 16, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    We have to ban assault weapons. Cold war with Russia is over, now we facing new enemy called terrorist,, Terrorist can buy assault weapons in our own soil kill us in our own soil

    December 16, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Lives in the Buckeye state

    Ban assault weapons? Will not make a difference. If some whack job like Lanza or some gang banger wants one they'll get to one. Too many are already in the streets coupled with the ever lucrative business of gun running means they are here to stay.

    December 16, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Mark Taylor

    Go for it Diane. Thank you.

    December 16, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Bill Stapp

    And anyone who drives drunk and kills innocent pedestrians or passengers in another vehicle, or older people who are getting forgetful or have other mental decline, or who soon will be should be banned from purchasing or driving cars. Thousands of innocent people are killed each year by these kinds of impaired people.

    December 16, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    Push "GUN-CONTROL", you have our support. Ignore NRA LOBBY.

    December 16, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    #1 Close the loophole that allows unlimited purchase of firearms at gun shows without a background check.

    #2 Ban assault weapons.

    #3 To those of you who say folks should be able to buy assault weapons to protect themselves from our government, you do realize you are saying that our military and law enforcement personnel would turn on a dime, stop protecting us and attack us – right?

    December 16, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Peace

    Ban assault weapons. People can not possess, carry them like cellular phones; every time, everywhere they go and when they wish to.

    December 16, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Matt

    I do own what some hysteric in the media would describe as an "AK pattern rifle". So allow me to dissect a little firearm history. In WW2, the US shot a 7.62x63mm round. This was a man killer. With the advent of air power, the US dropped it's standard rifle cartridge to a varmint caliber, the 5.56x45mm because soldiers would just be mopping up after air power. This caliber is consider inhumane to use on deer sized game, as it lacks the killing power to guarantee consistent and painless deaths to woodland creatures larger than a coyote. The future of military firearms may evolve down to 5.7x28mm since guns aren't that great at killing people anyway. Lets switch focus to school massacres. The Beslan, Russia school massacre occurred. 380 people died in a country with total gun control. The males were separated from the females, all females were raped, repeatedly, for 3 days straight and in the end they were all killed. If gun control were pertinent, how could this happen? Oh wait, laws don't stop criminals...that's why we call them "criminals". Switch gears to the Oklahoma City Bombing. 680 people were killed and not a single shot fired. How is that? Fertilizer bombs are as easy to make as methamphetamine. Aurora, Colorado and the Connecticut shooting were both perpetrated by people described as "smart". How can one expect that either of these individuals would be incapable of building an explosive device that a C-student like Timothy McVeigh and countless drunken IRA members have proven themselves capable of producing? When someone wants to kill your family, they're going to be able to do it and nothing will be able to stop them. You blame the guns, the same guns that get used in crimes less than 1% per capita, but at the end of the day you are powerless to stop someone who wants to kill you or your family. Restricting the rights of normal people will not make you safer. You are not safe. You never were safe, you never will be. Shredding the Constitution will not save you. All you're doing is *possibly* changing the method of murder to one you have not anticipated yet. People don't want to kill you because they have a method, they want to kill you and they will find a method.

    December 16, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @lee: People who commit these horrific acts are by definition "mental." Regarding your list of contributing factors, I agree they do have some impact. So does the lack of access to mental health services and the all the readily available weapons.

    December 16, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Hindsight 20/20

    Rep. Rigell, Republican from VA, is a super genius when he said on NBC today that the difference with a hunting gun and an assault weapon is cosmetic. Because a hunting gun should be able to spray bullets to hunt down bambi? Thank you geniuses of VA for reelecting this super genius.

    December 16, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Second Amend

    J Olver,
    What about Switzerland, they have one of the higher per capita of gun ownership, yet their rarely see gun violence. They don't have strict gun laws, they encourage their citizens to get guns and be trained on how to use them. UK banned guns, but they still have gun crimes, most recently shooting spree was in 2010. Ever heard of the London Met Trojans? They are armed police officers in a country where most police aren't armed. Why are they needed if there are no guns?

    Take away guns and criminals will use other things. Why is there is so much knife crime in UK and people over there crap in their pants when they see a knife out in the streets. Google Chinese Mass Stabbing and see how many results come up.

    I wonder what you and anti-gun folks are going to do when someone breaks in your house while you are in there.

    December 16, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Jim

    Surprise, Surprise! We all knew the Democrats would attempt to ban more guns during the 2nd Obama term. This was tried before, during the Clinton admisistration. All it accomplished was to drive the prices up.

    December 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Tommy

    Know a little history before making ignorant comments. If we limit the weapons to police/military, we become Nazi Germany, or modern day Mexico City. If you want to feel safe, please go to Mexico City and post back daily, as this is exactly what happens when only the government has legal access to weapons. Here we have millions of guns that will always exist, and are controlled by mass murdering drug lords. Apparently this is what you want. We need to embrace individual rights and security, so we aren't sitting ducks relying on a baby sitter to defend you, that has never worked in a mixed society.

    December 16, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Second Amend

    Ryan,
    Well said, couldn't agree with your any more. Someone intent on mass killing will do it no matter if guns are banned. Especially in today's society of the internet, where you can learn how to make a bomb.

    Everybody else who says we need armed rental cops at the mall, theater, schools, are on the slow side. Really? Armed security, where they get 1/100th less training than the police and military. There are military and police who do miss their targets even after hours of training. Security in situations like these are no deterrent. Those guys will be the shooter's first target.

    I've been to the range and see security guards qualify to carry a gun and see them miss their targets and had to requalify. I'd rather take my chances of getting out of dodge when bullets start flying they rely my life on some inexperience security guard or metal gates in front of the school.

    December 16, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Texsons

    There are currently millions, yes millions of tons of illegal drugs being smuggled into the United States every year. What make the good Senator believe that we will have more success on enforcing stricter gun laws than we are having on enforcing current drug laws. Bottom line is someone who wants drugs will get them and the same is true with guns. Oh and by the way, this bill will be introduce by a Senator from the state where San Francisco is located. A city where public nudity was legal until last month when it was banned by a close vote of the city board of supervisors. SMH

    December 16, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. AK_steve

    The GOP, TEA party and NRA will fight tooth and nail to increase access to guns. But when it comes to access health care (mental health) they don't say a word.

    December 16, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Craig

    There is no possible way to get all the AR15 type guns out of a state like Arkansas. People in those states are laughing at this proposed ban. Criminals do not adhear to bans or laws, hence the name. I do not see how this is an issue of ownership when the kid broke a law to obtain the guns in the first place...

    December 16, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34