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. GK

    Of course she is. That's what Democrats do.

    December 16, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. tim

    Truly tired of people defending these guns capable of killing several people in a matter of seconds. Have ONE single shot rifle and ONE single shot revolver. That is ALL you need to hunt or defend yourselves. You have no need to any semi-automatic weapon that a person can use to mow down a group of people. OMG YOU CANT TAKE AWAY OUR GUNS!? ITS NOT FAIR!! Its not fair that we lose innocent people every single day to these types of guns when the problem could be fixed without destroying our right to bare arms. Get a damn grip people, you dont need these types of guns to live peacefully. I challenge someone to find the last person who used an assault rifle to defend themselves. You cant. They are only used to commit murder.

    December 16, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. rla

    Anyone from California the failed stae has to be suspect in her judgement

    December 16, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. kevobx

    The world is afraid of grace and truth, why? Because Satan is an angel of light transforming himself. Is it a crime to tell the truth, in this day and age?

    December 16, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. C.Heston

    @KR
    you are speaking idiot-speak
    you probably want gun owners to pay a fee just to PAY A FEE.
    I do not have a serious problem with license, registration... but your FEE for this Fee for that and the annual expiry of license/registration is silly.
    Should we have to register ALL items and objects that could be classed as dangerous?
    What about POINTED STICKS. What about rough patches in my lawn!

    Remember, if the wacko had NO access to a guns(s), he would have used some other device.
    All of these knee-jerk reactionary resolutions and weapons ban bills will still NOT ADDRESS THE PROBLEM>
    The problem is: The criminal will still have a gun WHEN THE GUN IS ILLEGAL!

    December 16, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Ray

    Americans' obsession with firearms = spiritual sickness. Period.

    December 16, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Drew

    @Richard you really should research before asking such ridiculous questions. Look up the Appalachian school of law shooting. See how that one was stopped, just one of many examples.

    December 16, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Name The Voice

    right to bear arms old school. need to bear arms reality to protect ourselves from the government and police

    December 16, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. C.Heston

    @Ryan

    "I would like to remind you all of one thing, 9/11 was accomplished with box cutters."

    ...and a false sense of security...

    December 16, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. H. Baker

    It's time to start eating elephant....There is no silver bullet to a gun control solution, only a broad series of small steps that the nation begins to take now. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time !

    December 16, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Blake

    SO the only people who will have guns if guns are banned would be criminals, the police, and military? Ok, so now we got a police state with more power and criminals who have guns. What are we going to do when it hits the fans and criminals comitt crimes against the innocent? Check out Detroit and justifiable homicide on the web.

    December 16, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. gregingso

    Won't pass and won't change anything if it does. The very same weapons that are called assault weapons when in the hands of civilians are referred to as 'small arms' by the military, even when those weapons are capable of firing full auto. An AR-15 converted from semi-auto to fully auto is considered a 'weapon of mass destruction' when in the possession of a civilian without a federal machine gun permit but if that same weapon is in the hands of a soldier it is considered 'small arms'. Military style weapons are not available to the public and have not been since the days of Al Capone. Banning what is normally referred to as an assault weapon, especially if you still allow those weapons if limited to a ten round magazine, will not stop these attacks from happening again. It is a feel-good solution that will do little to stop this violence.

    December 16, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Blake

    What's up with the media and public questioning why the shooter's mother had a ton of weapons and why some of them were assault rifles?

    One gun= self defense. 2+ guns= collector and or hobby. Same concepts with why do women have fifty pairs of shoes, when you can only wear one at a time. Same with why do fishermen have 12 fishing rods, where in CA, you can only use one in the river.

    So just because someone owns more than one gun/rifle, we should question and give them a hard time about it?

    Go retire Feinstein, people of CA stop voting for her

    December 16, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. hoapres

    This isn't going anywhere.

    December 16, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. tim

    Truly tired of people defending these guns capable of killing several people in a matter of seconds. Have ONE single shot rifle and ONE single shot revolver. That is ALL you need to hunt or defend yourselves. You have no need to any semi-automatic weapon that a person can use to mow down a group of people. OMG YOU CANT TAKE AWAY OUR GUNS!? ITS NOT FAIR!! Its not fair that we lose innocent people every single day to these types of guns when the problem could be fixed without destroying our right to bare arms. Get a dang grip people, you dont need these types of guns to live peacefully. I challenge someone to find the last person who used an assault rifle to defend themselves. You cant. They are only used to commit murder.

    December 16, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Doc Ock

    @Actual American, you're probably a troll but I will respond. The second amendment was put into place in Colonial Times to have a standing malitia in order to defend the country. Now the US has a standing Army, Air Force, Navy, National Guard, police force to defend itself and it's citizens. The Amendment is outdated by 200 years.

    I'm not suggesting that all guns be banned, taken away etc. But I am saying that the average person does not need access to guns that are designed for military use. The fact that it is very easy to access guns and ammunition is a real problem. The guns used by criminals were purchased legally somewhere along the line. That a person in full psychosis can access such weapons is a very real problem. No system is perfect, but the current system needs to be overhauled and brought into the 21st century and reflect the needs of the people at this point in history.

    December 16, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Clint

    An amendment for Sen. Finestein's bill – All actors, producers and directors in violent movies must have their home addresses registered with all citizens so we may visit them in person if there is a violent crime committed after their movies are released; and they must pay a fee to each government to screen their movies. I can't imagine any one in the movie industry would object to this amendment. After all, it is for the good of the children.

    December 16, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Rick

    The number one weapon used in violent crimes according to the FBI is a baseball bat. Why don't we have cries for assault bat bans? The weapons used by this kid, and the mall shooter were stolen, obviously theft is already illegal. This has nothing to do with making you safe, it is just being used for another gun grab. Our Government was politicizing this before those children were even removed from the classroom.

    If guns cause these mass shootings, then why don't you ever see this happen at a shooting range? If a drunk plows through a playground in his car we don't get told we need to ban his car. Who was arrested and expected to stand trial for the actions in Colorado, James Holmes, or his weapons?

    Why should I be punished for an act I would never in my life do?

    December 16, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Ken

    Wow, 28 people killed by a person with two handguns. And the liberals first thought is "Lets ban assault weapons". What?! Sigh .. the basic problem with the democrats is they always treat the symptons and not the cause. Lets say the Democrats were doctors in a hospital and you were just wheeled in complaining that after falling 10 feet you can walk on your left leg and you're in extreme pain. The Democrats answer would be to give you a crutch to walk on to replace the leg, and pain killers to dull the pain. And having treated the symptons (pain gone, check, can walk again, check) they smile and send you home ... having done nothing to repair your broken leg. They do the same thing here. Some mental case uses guns to kill people so lets ban the guns. What a joke! You know the UK banned handguns in 1997 after a tragic school shooting. And the result was the homicide rate rose to record levels ove the next 5 years. And deaths by sharp instruments (knifes and the like) grew so quickly that they passed a law banning the sale of knives to anyone under 16 (I kid you not). And lets not talk about the UK crime rate (you are 5 times more likely to be mugged in London than New York). And it didn't even stop the massacres (as the 2010 Cambria school massacre in the UK proves). Democrats and Liberals - refusing to fix what is wrong, refusing to see reality, since 1960.

    December 16, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Ah yes, the anti-gun senator who had a concealed weapon permit because she needed to protect herself, is at it again.

    Here is my sensible compromise: I will support any gun ban that applies to EVERYONE outside of a military base on American soil. Police, bodyguards, security, ALL play by the same rules. If they truly are weapons of war, no one has any place having them on American streets.

    And not that I have any practical way of enforcing this, but I also support any restrictions on gun ownership that also applies to having children. If I can't trust you with a gun, I sure can't trust you to have the judgement to raise the next generation.

    December 16, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Ah yes, the anti-gun senator who had a concealed weapon permit because she needed to protect herself, is at it again.

    Here is my sensible compromise: I will support any gun ban that applies to EVERYONE outside of a military base on American soil. Police, bodyguards, security, ALL play by the same rules. If they truly are weapons of war, no one has any place having them on American streets.

    And not that I have any practical way of enforcing this, but I also support any restrictions on gun ownership that also applies to having children. If I can't trust you with a gun, I sure can't trust you to have the judgement to raise the next generation.

    December 16, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. GOP is for the rich

    Wow.... I really didn't think there would be any defense of assault weapons after this.....there really ARE some sick individuals out there!!

    December 16, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. GOP is for the rich

    @Actual American....and killing American children is NOT TREASON?????
    Where are your morals?

    December 16, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Ryan

    In response to KR, it sounds like your restrictions also increase cost to the point of what would be in effect, restriction of ownership. Which you say you are against. Most of these AWB type weapons are around $1000 USD to purchase, then you want to tax them annually via all these registrations which will no doubt have some cost. Then your $1MM insurance policy that would be mandatory, what would that cost the owner annually? Life insurance in excess of $1MM is not cheap even for a healthy individual under 30, so I cant imagine this would be cheap. Also, if you took your $1MM policy and divided it among the 26 dead in the recent CT shooting that is less than $38,500 per family. Is this what a child's life is worth to their parents? It's a slap in the face as no monetary value can be put on these atrocities.

    Many states already have in place requirements to pass a written test for legal concealed carry. I wouldn't be against more stringent requirements to own in general, as I do see lots of idiots at the range not demonstrating "good" gun safety. it would make the world a safer place for shooters. This would be a one time course/test that would be valid for your lifetime and be restricted by law to cost no more than $100. Current concealed carry in my state costs $100 for 5 years. I do not believe even THIS to be legal as I should not have to "feed the pig" to excercise my rights guaranteed to me in the constitution. Pass tests and pay for the course, yes. Pay the administrative cost for the license to be processed, yes. But 5 years is $100, and 10 years in $200. So what is the additional money for when the paperwork is the same regardless of length of validity? UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

    December 16, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. GOP is for the rich

    @Bystander.....FAR more deadly? I think you are exaggerating!

    December 16, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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