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. joepa14221

    People need to look at things like what is the state this kid was in, where were the parents why didn't they do anything. Also, a lot of mental illness requires medication that when those people are medicated don't feel they need the medication so they stop taking it. I think we need to look at those laws before firearms. There are plenty of people who have fire arms that don't do anything wrong with them. The problem is that people hate to have to look at the real problem that government cannot fix and look at something like limiting the weapons used. A pistol takes people out in Chicago everyday but do we do anything and they have strict gun control laws.

    December 16, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Paul

    Everybody here knows that Connecticut *currently has* an assault weapons ban nearly identical to the 1994 Federal AWB that even requires registration with the state...right?

    Tragic though it may be, not even that law stopped a Coward with evil in his heart from perpetrating such a heinous crime.

    Feinstein's proposal might make some feel safer, but the simple reality is it will do NOTHING to actually reduce crime.

    December 16, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Guns

    Guns are easily obtained illegally by criminal hands, good think they are less than 1% of the population.
    Guns taken away from the law abiding 99% is not the answer...

    Stupid...

    December 16, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. bill

    Well they better make arrangements to deal with the upcoming civil war too. Because that is exactly what they will get if they come to our homes and attempt to disarm us.

    The term "Well Regulated" in the Second Amendment meant "Well Manned and Equipped " in 1791 as was determined in the 1939 United States v. Miller case after referencing the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The concept of Government Regulation, as we understand it today, did not exist at the time.

    United States v. Miller also determined that the term "Arms" refers to "Ordinary Military Weapons". American Citizens have the right to Keep and Bear, which means Own and Carry, any weapons that a soldier carries into battle. That includes past, present and future weapons. A Militia consisted of armed volunteers willing to fight with their personal arms and not under government control.

    December 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Most wars are no longer fought with boots on the ground carrying guns, we use more sophisticated weapons. Americans and their guns are being used against each other and that appears to be the intended purpose.

    December 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Dan

    It's disgusting that so many are trying to use this tragedy for political gain. Feinstein, Obama, and all their friends have just been waiting for something like this to happen to further their agenda of snuffing out the 2nd Ammendment to the Constitution. You think this is going to stop at an assualt weapons ban? Read their past comments, read their supporters comments, clearly the goal is to get to national registration, police searches of our homes to verify our guns are being kept safe, etc. Look at the places with the toughest gun laws in the nation, CT among them. Did it prevent this? Do you consider the south side of Chicago safe?

    December 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. BHirsh

    Sei. The militia may be well-regulated, but the right isn't. Settled law.

    December 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. kita

    The NRA are busy trying to blame mental illness for the tragedy that occurred on Friday. They are just fooling themselves and trying to fool the rest of us. There will always be mentally ill people but mentally ill people with powerful guns can turn into mass murderers. Ban the semi automatic weapons as we can't ban the mentally ill people.

    December 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. 2eyes

    Go home and hug your assault weapons because we are coming to get them.

    December 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. ResponsibleGunOwner

    To you who believe "The Ban" is necessary: A.) When you can 110% be sure that every single 'bad guy' in this country has had his or her gun stripped from them, then I'll be the first one in line to hand in my guns. HOWEVER, I'm sure you, our country or anyone else can do that, ever. B.) What happens when one fateful day some low-life, looks at you with the look of, "I am going to take your life, no 'if's 'and's or 'but's about it," boy am I going to be happy that my .45cal is going to save my life. But no, you're right. Let's take them away and see what happens...

    December 16, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. alf

    Feinstein carries a semi-auto herself. This lady was loose with her weapons. She collected them like toys. Like having childran and owning a wolf for a pet. Bad combo. She knew as a mom that her son was off and did nothing. She paid for it and she cost 20 families a lifetime of misery,thanks to her foolishness. Cars kill people,,should we ban them? Buses are driven carelessly and kill more kids a year than guns. Should they be outlawed? I dont own an assault looking replica and i dont approve of looalike toy guns or bb guns. They are foolish as well . Guns are going to stay. People are going to die. How did this kid get into a locked school? The princible said it was an updated system?

    December 16, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Jason

    Bill – even if you are able to "bear" your assault rifles to protect yourself against the government, what good do you think your puny gun will do against a carpet bomb?

    December 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. pc8615319

    There already is an assault weapon ban. Besides I read the rifle was found in an automobile in the parking lot.
    He used the hand guns not the rifle which is not an assault weapon. Assault weapons are already banned.

    This makes about as much sense as blaming an automobile that plows into a crowd of people.
    In fact automobile fatalities are all most double what firearm fatalities are.
    Three times as many people are killed by doctor’s neglience.
    This is ignorance gone to seed.

    Handguns are for self defense. Yet, we are not permitted to carry. So the criminal always has the advantage. Only way to stop these senseless, horrific shootings is to permit citizens to be armed. Firearms in the possession of American citizens are actually used to protect the lives of people some 4,000 to 6,000 times A DAY.

    Look at the city of Chicago. More people have been murdered in the city of Chicago this year than soldiers killed in Afghanistan. One hundred and forty-four US troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2012, while 228 people have been murdered so far in 2012 in The Windy City.

    According to The Huffington Post, “The war zone-like statistics are not new. As WBEZ reports, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data.”

    Yet, Chicago, Illinois, has some of the strictest gun-control laws in America. Then again, maybe that’s one of the reasons why so many people are killed in Chicago. The laws of this city forbid honest citizens from being armed and, thus, they are unable to defend themselves. Let the good guys start shooting back and one will see a dramatic lapse of courage among miscreants. Don’t believe that? Check out the violent crime rates in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, or Vermont

    December 16, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Wes, CA

    This proposal from Sen. Feinstein absolutely frightens me. None of the "sensible ideas" are contained within in it. It is extreme.
    I am not a maniac, why should I be punished? A proposal that means maniacs don't get things, while normal people such as myself and MOST PEOPLE, can get things is reasonable.
    Saying that I can't even leave my firearm to someone in my Will..... that is extremist!

    December 16, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. larry simpson

    that bill is dead before it gets written

    December 16, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. alf

    How many of you have had a gun pointed or shoved in your face? If you have you know why we must have something to equalize the situation. If it comes down to my family and a guy with a gun thats intent on using it theyre going down. No responsible gun owner wants to kill another human,,never. But if it comes down to your wife and kids,,its on. There is No other way to deal with it.Ask a cop>,,,

    December 16, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. pc8615319

    A gunman whose name we do not need to memorialize took advantage of our gun control laws to slaughter some 20 children and seven adults in a Newton, Connecticut elementary school.

    In addition to the gunman, blood is on the hands of members of Congress and the Connecticut legislators who voted to ban guns from all schools in Connecticut (and most other states). They are the ones who made it illegal to defend oneself with a gun in a school when that is the only effective way of resisting a gunman.

    What a lethal, false security are the Gun Free Zone laws. All of our mass murders in the last 20 years have occurred in Gun Free Zones. The two people murdered a couple of days earlier in the shopping center in Oregon were also in a Gun Free Zone.

    Hopefully the Connecticut tragedy will be the tipping point after which a rising chorus of Americans will demand elimination of the Gun Free Zone laws that are in fact Criminal Safe Zones.

    One measure of insanity is repeating the same failure time after time hoping that the next time the failure will turn out to be a success. Gun Free Zones are a lethal insanity.

    We must tell our elected officials that they are acting as the criminals’ friends as long as they continue to support legislation that only protects criminals, not decent people.

    Oh, and we must also insist that these criminal friendly elected officials not even try to blame gun owners and our “gun culture” for what a criminal did. Had a few of us been available with guns at the Newton school, most of the victims might still be alive.

    December 16, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If it was the intent of the Founding Father's to make us a safer and more secured nation by making deadly assault weapons easily accessible to our citizens, well I'm afraid they have failed miserably in their objective.

    December 16, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Basher

    Step one: Put "assault weapons" ban into place. Step two: Redefine assault weapon to include anything and everything desired by this administration (which just might include everything).

    December 16, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. jack johnson

    The house has an investagation going on for (4) Americans killed overseas "THEY KNEW THE DANGER", but will do nothing to protect our kids "WHO CAN NOT PROTECT THEMSELVES"! They worry about votes if all congressmen stand together the votes will not change.

    December 16, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. worktolive

    Of course, it would be a liberal democrat screaming for gun bans. When will these people ever realize that will not help and hopefully, Americans will never let that happen.

    December 16, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. jeff

    Just think what was the first thing we do when we hear about some crazy shooting up everything.......We send in more guys with guns (cops). 99.9% of these things happen in "gun free zones" The bad guys will always have guns, and they do things like this in places where they know everyone else won’t have a gun to fight back. I hear the principal was very brave and lost her life trying to save her kids........ Humm wonder what would have happened if she were allowed to be armed? Or if anyone of you that are reading this, what would you do if you were able to go back in time and be there with a gun and stop that crazy guy. Bet some of you don’t want to answer that one.

    December 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. 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.

    December 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Amber

    I own my own .223 calibur AR-15 (looks just like the one used in the shootings) and I enjoy it as a hobby. I also own a semi-automatic .22, and a 9mm hand gun and I can tell you that the gun is not what is killing people, it's people killing people. I can assure you that if any one of my guns was placed on a floor in a crowded room, loaded and cocked, if no one were to touch it, it would have no ability to harm. The situation changes when someone picks it up. Then that person has the ability to pull the trigger. I think that people that believe that guns should be banned to the public are very naive. They do not think about what could happen if we were invaded by another country or if there were some sort of disaster that would force martial law to be declared. These are the same people that would be whining about not being able to defend themselves against armed attackers! Think people! Our second amendment rights were given to us so that we would have the freedom to defend ourselves! I also believe that this assult weapons ban bill is just a load of poo, because while law abiding people in this country would feel the need to uphold this ban, criminals don't care. How many gang members out there are in possesion of fully automatic weapons like mac-10's, uzi's, m-16's and ak-47's that are clearly illegal? Do they care? Does the law stop them from being able to find and possess them? Black market........ Bad people with bad intentions will still be able to get the guns they want, ban or no ban.

    December 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    "He used the hand guns not the rifle which is not an assault weapon. Assault weapons are already banned."

    Update your talking points. He used only the "assault weapon" during his "spree" and then killed himself with the hand gun. All three were found at the scene in the school. A fourth weapon was found in his vehicle.

    December 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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