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."

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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. idb

    It is sickening that people like Feinstein and Obama are trying to reach their own personal goals over the back of innocent victims.

    December 17, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. scott

    Thats the trouble with love. Thats the trouble with war. You never get what you came for.

    December 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    To all the 2nd Amendment aficionados here:

    Don't explain your reasoning to us; explain it to the parents of the murdered children. If you can't, or are too embarrassed to, maybe your position is untenable. Eh?

    December 17, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Tony

    Just because criminals can get their hands on explosives anyway does not mean that government should not regulate explosives. Just because people can still get marijuana whether or not it is legal does not mean that government should not regulate marijuana.

    December 17, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Fed-Up

    While you are at it Senator Feinstein, why don’t you add the following to your proposed ban:

    Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Automobiles, Trains, Airplanes, Buses, Ships, Cell Phones, Homosexuals, Lesbians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, Video Games, “Adult” movies and magazines, Lawyers, Lobbyists, Special Interest Groups, Abortion, CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, Labor Unions, Republicans and last, but surely not least, Democrats.

    If your Bill includes all of the above, then you will have my wholehearted support.

    December 17, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Also, who is going to pay for incarcerating all of these people? It's quite expensive."

    I'll trade you all the people in prison for YEARS on nothing more than minor marijuana offenses. Dump them back out on the street where they belong and maybe we can afford more state institutionalization and treatment for the severely mentally ill.

    December 17, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. CryBabies

    I understand the right to bear arms but where is the common sense and/or purpose allowing citizens to have automatic or semiautomatic rifles? Law enforcement ....sure. I have questions.....with no answers.

    December 17, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Bill in VA

    Doing something – passing a bill – to accomplish nothing. That is what our legislators do. Why outrage over guns when alcohol related deaths exceed gun related deaths by a factor of 2? Car related alcohol deaths (about a 1/3 of total alcohol related deaths exceed homicide by gun by a factor of 2? ( and gun realted homicide deaths are less than 1/2 of total gun related deaths) This isn't a pro gun rant. This is a common sense rant. Why nor first go after what causes more deaths if you want to crusade? But no matter: legislation does not solve problems be it terrorist attacks, financial shenanigans (ask the Madoff victims how Sarbanes Oxley helped them), mass murders or other violence. If someone wants to kill someone...or themself...they will find a way (ask Timothy McViegh...if you could).

    December 17, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Robert

    "eric: elderly drivers kill more innocent people than criminals do with assault weapons; maybe we should ban automobiles. Doctors kill more innocent people by prescribing the wrong drugs, maybe we should ban pharmaceuticals."

    Eric, the difference is that the elderly drivers and doctors do not INTENTIONALLY kill anyone with autos or pharmaceuticals. I've got no problem with hunting, or defending your property, but it's never been explained why you need an AK-47 or a bazooka to kill a duck.

    December 17, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. High Way

    When the forefathers of the American constitution permitted the use to bare arms in the constitution for its citizens. It was based on guns that fired one shot a time. Had they known 200+ years laters you can own machine guns and assult weapons firing multiple rounds, I'd bet they would have set a limit to a simple hand gun for individuals.

    December 17, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Sprout

    According to the senator's logic regarding a ban on "assault weapons", I suppose when a car mows down a crowd of people, we should therefore ban cars? Using a crazy person who unfortunately murdered many innocent people to further a left wing agenda is shameful at best.

    December 17, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. MJH

    30 people die everyday in America in alcohol related vehicle accidents. (CDC stats). Where is your outrage America? Oh thats right. EVERYBODY likes booze, so we overlook the slaughter that goes on daily because of alcohol.

    We're legalizing drugs. Why do drug laws fail? For many of the same reasons gun laws will fail.

    The society is sick. Take away our guns and medicate us all...its the only solution.

    McViegh blew up the Federal Building with fertilizer.

    Good luck America.

    December 17, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. UncleM

    It is sickening that the NRA and lobby won't support keeping these weapons off the streets. Why are conservatives always on the wrong side of history?

    December 17, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. mypitts2

    idb

    "It is sickening that people like Feinstein and Obama are trying to reach their own personal goals ..."

    @idb: You pick some interesting things to be sickened over. The mass slaughter is what sickens me.

    December 17, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Newsflash:

    "This cause of deaths is geater than that cause of deaths" is NOT a coherent, cogent, rational or logical argument for failing to regulate the latter cause of deaths.

    Grow up.

    December 17, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Mary

    There is no reason for assault weapons in this country. No reason!!!! Whatever has to be done to ban them should be done.

    December 17, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. newtonfig

    Every argument the pro gun camp makes is fraught with illogic. "its only a tool", "people kill people", "should we ban cars too". They are weak arguments,for reasons others have explained here. That said, gun laws dont prevent massacres (look at Norway and Germany, for example). But the question is how many more incidents would there have been, had those places not had gun control laws.

    We wont prevent gun incidents, but we can minimize them by taking ridiculous guns off the market. Do you really need more than a pistol or a shotgun to "defend your home" or to hunt? Meanwhile, the ATF etc need to wage a war on guns, to get them off the black market.

    Arming everyone, including teachers, is of course Hollywood level nonsense. Theres not an ounce of reality in that argument, unless you want a culture of fear, innocent bystanders shot, and lawlessness. Two Topeka, KS officers, armed and trained, were just murdered at point blank last night by a gun man. Trained armed resistance is childish thinking

    The 2nd amendment doesn't protect this right, for reasons we know. By the logic of gun advocates, any person is entitled to a nuclear weapon according to the 2nd amendment. The judicial branch must interpret the 2nd amendment in light of this disease of mass destruction weapons our forefathers couldnt have imagined.

    December 17, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Manny

    Very interesting information in all these comments but if we follow the money it will become clear that it is about that. Who in a sound mind would think that a grenade launcher should be sold without ID in a Gun Show? This is even a matter of national security. I can understand a blind person bying a maching gun for hunting but why a young person, not visually impair would need an AK-47 for "huinting" or protecting his or her home?
    We don't do it now better to forget about it and wait for the consequences.

    December 17, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. ru serious

    Ya, and the proliferation of assualt like weapons really did a lot to protect those innocent children. Blood is on your hands as well as that stupid arsenal owning mother of her murderous miscreant son. What is wrong with you people? Go kill Bambi if you must but you do not need to pump 100 rounds into the poor thing. One shot should do the trick.

    December 17, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "30 people die everyday in America in alcohol related vehicle accidents. (CDC stats). Where is your outrage America? "

    Pretty sure it's all over the place...all throughout our laws and has a giant industry of activist groups and charities associated with it. And you know what? When we started making stricter laws about it, those death tolls decreased.

    What the heck is wrong with you people and the "alcohol death" and "cancer" crap anyway? The argument you're trying to make is totally irrelevant nonsense and nothing more than a distraction.

    December 17, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. anothermuse

    I have no aversion to the assualt rifle ban. While for a gun owner, they are no doubt cool to fire and collect (I'd probably to fire an AK or AR one day) However the notion that this ban will in anyway limit the ability for a crazy person to wreak carnage is a myth. The NRA and others should sit this fight out. It would be the wrong time to go down this road. However, when the next catastrophe hits this time with the assailant using home made bombs or knives or other weapons, we need to understand that the tool used is not the true problem.

    The orginal assult rifle ban served its purpose in allowing law enforcement to catch up to the criminals level of armamnet. Crimes like this one won't be stopped through legislation. But there will be hundreds of millions of dollars changing hands to make that attempt.

    December 17, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Pale

    The FBI should really look into the people who are posting outrageous pro-gun comments on cnn and other comment boxes.

    December 17, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. newtonfig

    Every argument the pro gun camp makes is fraught with illogic. "its only a tool", "people kill people", "should we ban cars too". They are weak arguments,for reasons others have explained here. That said, gun laws dont prevent massacres (look at Norway and Germany, for example). But the question is how many more incidents would there have been, had those places not had gun control laws.

    We wont prevent gun incidents, but we can minimize them by taking ridiculous guns off the market. Do you really need more than a pistol or a shotgun to "defend your home" or to hunt? Meanwhile, the ATF etc need to wage a war on guns, to get them off the black market.

    The 2nd amendment doesnt protect this, for reasons we know. By the logic of gun advocates, any person is entitled to a nuclear weapon according to the 2nd amendment. The judicial branch must interpret the 2nd amendment in light of the disease of mass destruction weapons our forefathers couldnt have imagined.

    Two Topeka, KS officers, trained and armed, were gunned down last night by a armed robber. The armed resistance argument is childish and Hollywood, and invites a lawless society of innocent bystanders being shot by so called "trained" idiots shooting first instead of thinking first

    December 17, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Washington Is Out Of Touch with reality

    why not look at the loose nut behind the gun, its always the demoncrats first thing, blame the gun, its not the gun, it didnt jump off the shelf, load it self and fire it self, it was that mental case loose nut behind the gun. A ban will not work, that is just an infringement and a start to remove our freedoms, just another movement to make obama a dictator and to cause a civil war, thats all the demoncrats want is to control rather than correct.

    December 17, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. mypitts2

    PROUD GUN OWNER: "While yes, it will stop the selling, there will always be ways for those people to get the weaponry they want,"

    Right. But as has been pointed out, you could say that about any weapon. Should bombs be sold over the counter? A Bushmaster assault rifle is no different from any other weapon of mass destruction.

    December 17, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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