Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill
December 16th, 2012
11:43 AM ET
9 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. Patrick

    I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, pop. 400,000, where guns abound and we have open carry. The amazing and very telling thing is that we have more firearms homicides in Tulsa each year than the entire area of England and Wales with a population of 56,000,000. Why? Because they have strict gun control laws and as a result, far fewer guns in the hands of citizens.

    December 16, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. m

    How on God's green earth is this going to help? Those guns don't fire on their own. If someone wants to kill they will find a way, gun or not. Look at all the suicide bombers. No gun, just explosives! Our politicians are fools!

    December 16, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. shawn

    ask for volunteer teachers to carry concealed weapons and have them go through training .A large concern in school safety is fires so do we take out fire extinguishers the one item used to stop a fire no we put more in and train people how to use them the result is that a child has not died from a school related fire in 50 years. you cant stop evil from happening just like you can't stop fires a assault weapons ban didn't stop columbine from happening and illegal drugs don't stop addics you want to have a sensable conversation lets have a sensible conversation i am a parent now and terrified that same thing will happen to his school and there is not sensable measure to stop them.

    December 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Marty

    Private citizens and their guns are the only thing protecting our freedoms from government oppression.

    December 16, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. nothing new here

    The government might as well try to ban "stupid people", like the guy that shot up all those kids.
    Good luck on that one.

    December 16, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. InfernalChaos21

    Well this is a bummer, this effectively "bans" all my firearms except my shotgun and bolt action. Stock up while you can.

    December 16, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. marty

    It's unbelievable .... twenty little persons are slaughtered and the gun bloggers are whining about the possibility that their dangerous toys may be regulated. Not only are they whining but they are exhibiting their level of intelligence with their trademark of name calling.

    December 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. nothing new here

    I think the bigger issues are these –
    1. We have parents that don't want to raise their kids.
    2. We have seriously mentally ill people roaming the streets, and not getting the help they need.
    3. We have hardened criminals roaming the streets, that are not serving serious time behind bars.
    4. There is too much focus on busting people for pot, and not enough resources being spent on dealing with dangerous crooks.

    December 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. fe

    Never too late but should have never been allowed to lapse. This must be done. Now

    December 16, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. MrBill

    Blaming guns for deaths is like blaming cars for drunk drivers.

    December 16, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. cjohnson

    typical. liberals capitalize on tragedy for political gain.

    rather than saying there are some people in the world who are evil and intend harm so we propose addition funding for security personnel and equipment in our public schools, they are saying no one can be trusted with gun and we need to progressively start banning them.

    December 16, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Disgusted in ID

    The Constitution has become such a thorn in the side of today's bought and paid for politicians. Washington DC has had gun control all along. Why does Washington DC have one of the highest crime/murder rates in the Country? Because it doesn't work! Just ask our Aussie friends how well it worked for them. They had to create a new category of crime there. They named it "home Invasion". Take a peek accross our southern border and see how well it works in a country that also banned guns. Now only the corrupt government and the Cartels have them. People are being slaughtered like sheep. These examples are what we can expect in the USA if they take away our right to defend ourselves. The government can't agree on a budget or live within it's means. They are broke and cutting costs....how do you think they will suddenly be able to protect you any more. It's a farse. Research yourself and see what happens when governments eliminate guns. People die. Lots of them.

    December 16, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Lord Vast

    Sure. Pass more laws for the lawless. Heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine are all "banned". How that working out?

    December 16, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Terminal Velocity

    Would arming every country in the world with nukes stop wars?

    Only the insane would think they need to own weapons with 10+ bullets. One gun is enough to keep you safe, if you believe in that.

    December 16, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. jack

    I live near chester pa and camden nj. Probably more people killed on a daily basis than most places in the country. Funny how it never makes the national news...anyway.. ...I have never ever heard of anyone using a rifle. Funny how the media and these politicians have no clue.

    December 16, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. Bill H

    It is extremely tragic what happened in Newtown, my heart goes out to the families. My heart goes out for the nation. When tragedy strikes, the solution is not more government or reduced rights.

    Now on to the politically poised... banning guns is as effective as banning crazy people. If we could focus on social health care issues as mental help for those in need, we'd be in better shape.

    I agree with EdD, Senator Fienstien just sent the cost of rifles spiraling... we now know what every concerned citizen is buying for Christmas. She is a true failure as a Senator. I do not believe her slice of California is the Utopian example for the rest of America, nor do I believe she has ever earned a cent of her paycheck.

    December 16, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. szl

    were is the call for mental health reform to get these crazy people off our streets.Virginia tech shooting shooter mentally ill known and aloud to roam free among society, colorado shooting shooter known to be mentally ill aloud to roam free, , connecticut shooting shooter mentally ill yet still aloud to roam free. but ban guns

    December 16, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |

    Yeah, more government C O N T R O L; just what Americans need. Wake up "Sheeple."

    December 16, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. John

    Typical liberals trying to capitalize on a tragedy....Like Axlerod said, never let a good tragedy go to waste...
    Instead of addressing the real issue, which is complete lack of security in our schools, they choose to go
    after weapons instead....The old strawman act, we aren't to blame for failing to protect the students, nope, it's the guns fault....

    December 16, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. stickyhumid

    Is this ban different than the one under Clinton's administration? It sounds familiar.
    Also, someone said that she introduces a gun ban bill every year.

    December 16, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Michael Haskins

    EVIDENCE: guns purchased for 'protection' kill non-violent people. Again. The shooter was NOT a member of a 'well regulated militia', which the constitution allows to possess guns. Check the statistics – compare instances where guns were used to kill people, vs instances of where guns prevented killing. DELUSION: an irrational belief held in spite of evidence to the contrary. Problem: delusional people do not respond to evidence. VERY frequent: guns used in a crime or killing/suicide. VERY infrequent: crime prevented / killing prevented by a gun. WAKE UP people. more guns equals MORE gun death and violence – it doesn't take an Einstein to notice the obvious. Guns almost NEVER produce beneficial results.

    List of countries by firearm-related death rate
    death-rate per 100,000 population in one year
    USA – – – – – – – – – 9.00 #1 in gun ownership
    United Kingdom – 0.22
    Japan – – – – – – – – 0.07

    It is Not politics – it is Fact: More Guns = MORE gun related DEATH

    DELUSION: an irrational belief held in spite of evidence to the contrary.

    December 16, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. Ryan

    I think if the Gov't starts messing with guns more than they already do, they will see a revolution on their hands. I think every state should have a open carry policy where people can openly carry a gun (Not loaded) but able to have a loaded magazine in the gun. And when I say gun I mean a pistol, I don't think people need to be carrying around AR-15's. I bet crime would drop off if this happened.

    December 16, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Bob

    Those attempting to gain notoriety such as Feinstein and others jumping on the bandwagon in response to this horrible crime should rethink the causes which was not the weapon itself, we have fallen into a gutter in our morals, both parents have to work to make a living in todays world, so children are left to their own designs, care for someone like the person that committed this crime is either too costly or is not available in our culture, to ban weapons makes no sense, our constitution gives us the right to keep and bear arms, this is any arms not just a smooth bore rifle, or a knife, or a six shooter, this is ANY arms.......government has too often infringed on the liberties we have as a free people in the name of saving us from ourselves, it is time that government regulations are reduced not increased....so to all who think forcing Americans to give up their constitutional right to bear and keep arms, again ANY arms is just another infringment on our liberties which will soon be down to none.......

    December 16, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. Kevin

    Figures someone from the far left would take advantage of a horrific tragedy to push THEIR agenda. This woman couldn't even wait until those children are buried before hitting the talk show circuit!

    December 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |

    To: John The Historian,
    Did you happen to run across the 2nd amendment in you history. The second amendment I S the gun permit.

    December 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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