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. jdr

    How about she introduces a law to hold law enforcement responsible for enforcing the laws we already have on the books. If those laws were enforced we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    To all you people going off on what the laws should be and don't have a clue about what the current laws even are, please spend some of your valuable time to understand the laws and you will see that law enforcement isn't doing their job. This isn't about your emotions it's about laws so know them.

    For example: annual fees, training, required reporting of sale, transfer or theft of a firearm would have had NO effect on the outcome of columbine, aroura, VA tech or CT.

    Not to mention that ALL the fault for this CT incident lays squarely on the shoulders of the Mother. If she would have secured the weapons registered to her like I do to keep them out of the hands of her son this COULD NOT have happened.

    December 16, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Tom1940

    Sen. Feinstein is a very politically smart and educated lady. Serving in the Senate for a number of years, as a leader and very effective U.S. Senator for California. Unfortunately she is wrong in proposing firearms legislation at this time that will neither stop nor deter likes of the Conn. School shooting from happening again. That is the sad, sad truth. Only in going after the perp's before the fact will curb these acts from happening. Making schools more secure. Identifying likely disturbed persons well in advance of their acting out in committing these horrific, terrible acts of violence is the answer. As a point of fact: Automobile are not blamed for the carnage occurring on highways every year – bad drivers, drinking, weather, etc., are all real and tangible causes. Every effort is being made to curb auto accidents by removing drinking drivers and bad drivers from having the right to drive. This is the correct direction for legislation to be directed. Controlling the human element, as we know how much has been put toward auto safety in engineering, etc.
    Only controlling the human element, has it been possible to stop accidents. The same must be done for firearms. Identify and intervene with perps before, not after the fact.

    December 16, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Brandon f.

    This is purely a knee jerk reaction. The school shooter used two hand guns and the reported rifle was found in his vehicle. If the man didn't have guns to kill these people then he would've used another way. A guy in China used a knife to kill a bunch of kids the other day to.... I don't understand how guns are to blame. Shouldn't we be studying how he was able to get to the weapons? Teach proper gun safety! Lock your weapons up because crazies like this guy use them for evil purposes. Making laws won't fix this problem. Educating citizens will. We have to refocus.

    December 16, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Daws

    I think the lesson here is that "gun free zones" don't work, if someone can own a gun it's very hard to control where they go with it, what's needed is to limit the sale of the guns in the first place.

    December 16, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Ryan

    Leave it to the bleeding-heart liberals to spit on our forefathers. Nothing like using a few dead kids to push your anti-2nd admendment cause, even if it won't do anything to the criminals of this society.

    December 16, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. JJ

    Yet another example of politicians taking a problem and producing a blanket solution that is unrealistic and irrational. Not to mention unconstitutional. Think about the caveman like mentality of the thought process......murder committed using assault rifle. Solution, ban all assault rifles. Why not use the same mentality for all other murders. Person drowned in bathtub, ban all bathtubs. Or even better ban all water. Person murdered with knife, ban all knives. Person burned, ban fire. It's sickening. We definitely have a problem in this country with violence. It's horrific and needs to be addressed Immediately by politicians who are up to the challenge of solving a very complex problem. Not using horrific tragedies performed by deranged human beings to capitalize on there own political rhetoric. Given the performance of our current government on many current issues facing the country I would prefer to rely on the judgement of our founding fathers. I can't help but think that when these tragedies occur, you never hear about a single person other than the deranged lunatic having a weapon. I just wonder if someone rational was armed during these nightmare events, if the outcome would be different. Think about the fact that Connecticut is one of the strictest states as it applies to gun control. The more amazing thing is we have all the evidence we need about government bans on items. It doesn't work. All it does is prevent law abiding citizens from access. I can't blame Senator Feinstein for wanting an immediate solution to a heinous problem. I know it will make her sleep better at night to know she did something. But her solution is unrealistic, simplistic, and thoughtless. It is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that requires a great deal more thought.

    December 16, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. J R Brown

    And we have a WINNER in the "who will be the first to exploit the death of these children for political gain" race...

    December 16, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Bob1

    I'm so glad that another law is being passed! Hopefully the criminals, psychopaths, and mentally ill people out there will follow the law this time...

    December 16, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Ron Fischer - Oregon

    And what if there were fully qualified adults in that school that were also armed with guns? The entire school was a sitting duck for any nut with any weapon at any time. "People" are the problem, especially in this awful tragedy.

    Totally irrational thinking by a mentally defective person and totally irrational thinking by political opportunists in reaction. It could have been prevented but was not because of the political fears that guide our politics.

    December 16, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. Dale Moore

    Why did it take our leaders so long to start to legislate gun control on assault weapons. Do not provide an exemption for gunshows, and let is all come together as a nation for the common good of this country.

    December 16, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. chuckswagonwagon

    Rather than a weapons ban how about this:

    Maybe physcological examinations should be required before purchasing one and requiring them every so often after taking ownership (like once a month randomly). Maybe the manufacturers should be fined for producing these type of weapons and would be owners charged a much higher gun ownership fee for this type of weapon. I'm sure this would curtail ownership if they had to go through all of this to own one. Though it may possibly run the risks of making them more of a black market item.

    December 16, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. Babs

    It never stops astounding me how some people's first reaction is to protect the gun. All guns should be banned. period.

    December 16, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Fredy

    It's not about guns! It's about a sick individual who obviously had some type of breakdown and wanted to commit an act that would totally and completely and emotionally hurt our socity by not only killing his mother but then killing the most defenseless in our society with guns that were illegal for him to own! He then committed the most cowardly act and killed himself preventing society from holding him accountable. Guns don't kill people, People do. You can pass any bill that you want but these type of tragedy's will not stop because of Laws and Legislation. I am not going to say that I know the answer but as a person that does not believe in gun control would like all to know that my soul hurts just as much or more than those that believe that gun control is the answer!!

    December 16, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Nitro Norris

    Anyone who thinks law enforcement and military should be the only ones with such weapons should examine nazi Germany and how that atrocity transpired.

    December 16, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Tom1940

    Israeli citizens are allowed to carry uzi submachine guns in public. It was during the bombings of a few years ago, that pictures were shown of everyday citizens in shopping malls, eating establishments, etc., had uzi's slung over their shoulder. While it may not have curbed suicide bombers determined to their evil work – the terrorist groups knew that when they entered Israel, more than likely it would be a one way trip. For the Israeli's it might not stop the attack from starting, but it certainly provided a quick response by citizens to assist police, IDF and para-military guards in protecting society. Perhaps this "model" is now appropriate to the U.S. That part of many "oaths of office" to do with becoming anyone connected with the U.S. Gov't – i.e. Armed Services, up to President – says in part: "I swear to defend the Constitution, Lawful Orders, etc., "from all enemies – both foreign and domestic""! Perhaps we should now concentrate on understanding just "whom" are/is those "domestic enemies", spoken of in these Oaths of Office.

    December 16, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Zack Shoemaker

    If you ban it, the cops collect it, and the bad cops keep it. So, maybe it's better that way. But how do you say it's not retro-active ban, when possession moving forward becomes illegal. It's non-sense, just like gun-free zones in a country full of weapons. They will just use something else, and our children will never be any safer leaving gun-free zones in place. The teachers who aren't afraid to protect themselves need weapons to do so, or they'll just break in with fire, bombs, or other types of projectiles. Is it that hard to bring yourself to logic, that you continue to expand on your delusion instead?

    December 16, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. keyser

    Thank God someone in power has finally woken up.

    December 16, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. PdxTony

    The problem is one of history and mental approach. The reason for the right to bear arms is easily researched and is something that is no longer really necessary as a right, a privilege sure. Gun initially were tools to hunt and protect families in the early years of this country but this has changed (anyone who thinks that they can use a gun to keep a government in line against today's military needs to have their head examined)
    The problem as I see it is the casual group of users who buy guns for "protection" from violence. They purchase a gun then hide it away in a drawer and never use the gun. The other group (that I have more respect for and am more familiar with) as those that think of guns as tools. They actively use guns for sport. The problems we are having are primarily from the first group. Problems that arise are no more than those that occur from a mad person driving a car into a crowd.
    As a note the recent Oregon shooting was the result of a stolen gun and the guy that had a permit didn't shoot because he was concerned about hitting bystanders.

    December 16, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Ipso Facto

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

    So, if you want to control guns amend the constitution. Don't ignore it, because if the government can ignore the second amendment, it can ignore the others just as easily.

    December 16, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. karo pones

    Somebody said it before, weapons don't kill people, weapons on the hands of Americans males do. What's next for the NRA? a gun in each back pack of a school child for self protection? Where this lunatic right to bear arms will stop?

    December 16, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. shawn riddick

    Over 200 children have been murdered by predator and reaper drones in Pakistan. About zero media coverage. George Washington ordered the murder Native American children, ordered 1000 lashes for some prisoners, and bragged his gallows were the highest, he is a national hero. Perhaps our government should stop killing people and then the people will follow a nonviolent example. These very same Washington nincompoops will pounce once on the chance to kill brown people or chain them in their prison industries. Please read warningfromgod and store a one year supply of food. Maybe God has placed a warning on the web for you. Maybe God and Satan are real.

    December 16, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Carl

    That's not the solution! Making them illegal would help like making drugs illegal. Look how that has worked!

    December 16, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. notaposter

    Because prohibition always works. Amirite?

    December 16, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. thinker

    The perfect diversion to get everyone thinking and looking away from what is really gping on.

    December 16, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Tumbleweed

    Answer is simple, but the gun-control crowd will reject it because they have gunbasms every time there is a new shooting, most of which are so catastrophic BECAUSE of failed policies like the assault-weapon ban.

    Solution: Since 1974 when 15 Israeli students were shot to death by gunmen on a student outing, Israel has allowed their teachers to carry guns. Although they had an attempt in 2002, an armed teacher helped stop the shooter and no children were injured. Utah has allowed its teachers to arm themselves since 2001 and there have been no injuries to students since then as a result of the new policy.

    Stop doing what doesn't work (hint: Post Office shootings gave rise to the phrase going postal). Disarming the intended victims is just plain stupid. Allow our teachers who qualify for concealed weapon permits to arm themselves. Stop punishing those who have done nothing wrong. Semi-automatic assault weapons are needed as a deterrent to government tyranny. They would be an excellent tool for principals and other administrators to stop these massacres.

    Diane Feinstein should not be allowed to even speak about gun control until she certifies UNDER OATH that she has fired all her armed guards who guard her with semi-automatic assault weapons.

    December 16, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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