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. polycarp pio

    DI FY is a knee jerk lib, the ban would be prospective not retrospective, DUH there are millions upon million of "assault weapons in the US, these politicians make me want to scream. Stop killing children in the womb and maybe the karma will not come back on our children in the classroom. There are million of responsible gun owners in this nation and the few wack jobs that do these crazy things does not justify the knee jerk rxn from politicians, stop shedding blood america and maybe our blood will stop being shed. PP

    December 17, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  2. Marc in Virginia

    All you gun nuts act like guns had nothing to do with this crime. I'm tired of innocents paying the price for your fetish.

    December 17, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  3. Bill

    I hate the fact that this happened being a father of young children. But also being a law abiding citizen it seems very unfair and wrong that I will be punished by having my rights taken away because I like to shoot an AR.

    December 17, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  4. KM

    Every political figure in the U.S. knows that to impose the governments will on the people you must first disarm them. Our second amendment has been broken already with the 1934 nfa and all subsequent gun control up to today. Have you ever put a frog in boiling water? It will immediately try to get out, but put it in cold water and gradually turn up the heat and it will do nothing! They are convincing the sheeple of America that they need protecting from themselves. Don't let it happen! The second amendment was not in acted for hunters or sportsman, it was to protect us from the government.

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -Thomas Jefferson

    December 17, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  5. david

    What should be done is to have a complete background check ,but they worrie about the cost and time instead of giving our money to torrorist use for this

    December 17, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  6. Jason Diaz

    How about making games likes Call of Duty, GTA and Halo as hard to buy as a pack of cigarettes and alcohol! How about banning rap videos that incourage selling drugs, shooting people and slapping them hoes.

    December 17, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  7. Wes Scott

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool, tree hugging, bleeding heart liberal ... with a personal armory of firearms weaponry and the skill to use them for whatever purpose may be necessary. I am also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. So when Diane Feinstein says, "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", I have to say that the Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle used at Sandy Hook Elementary School is NOT an assault weapon, and would necessarily be one of thsoe exempted, and that Diane Feinstein would not know the difference between a "weapon of war" and a weapon that is perfectly legal for civilian ownership and possession.

    An assault rifle has a rock 'n roll (full automatic) switch and a bayonet lug, both of which are already prohibited on weapons the general public can legally buy. IF you can qualify, and pay the high tax, to own and keep a fully automatic weapon, then you have already been subjected to all sorts of serious background checks and your weapon is registered with the BATF. But, anybody with the money can buy a Bushmaster .223, which is Bushmaster's equivalent of the Colt AR-15, which is a civilian (semi-automatic) version of the military Colt M-16 fully automatic rifle.

    Too many people talk about this issue without having any concept of the facts. The law Feinstein is about to propose would have done NOTHING to prevent the Sandy Hook tragedy, and anybody who believes otherwise is an uneducated fool.

    December 17, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  8. Freedom

    Guns don't kill people, stupid people kill people. They will find a way to kill when they are darn good and ready. It might be driving their car onto the play ground of a school and running over a dozen or two kids. There is no way to stop violence. Personally, I think we need to execute more people for serious crimes and go after the distributors of harmful substances like bath salts or any other substance that alters one mind.

    December 17, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  9. Frank

    Instead of tilting at windmills and wasting effort on an "assault weapons" ban that will do NOTHING to stop insane people from getting ahold of guns and shooting places up, how about addressing mental illness? How about rolling back Reagan's deinstitutionalization disaster? Whydo these gun control idiots persist in ignoring the fact that every single time one of these horrible tragedies happen, it's because someone was insane, they were known to be insane, and nothing was done about their being insane?!?

    December 17, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  10. rarcher

    @breckdoesnotcompute: "What happened was terrible...but what awaits us if they try to ban guns is a far worse outcome..."

    So breckdoesnotthink, er, I mean breckdoesnotcompute, you'e actually saying that if your assault gun is taken away from you it will be WORSE than 26 people being slaughtered at an elementary school - most of them 6 and 7 year olds? REALLY? How sick are you?

    December 17, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  11. actlikeithurts

    And let me guess, we're going to have to pass it to know what's in it, right Dianne?

    December 17, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  12. formerdcres

    Gun rights like all rights come with responsibilities. It is not just a right, but a responsibility that should be met with checks and balances as all rights. Unfortunately there is no trial to bring justice to the many lives we've lost from heinous crimes. Yet, we cannot accept it as the norm. All life matters. All cultures and religions express the love and purpose for life. One interesting aspect of culture is my favorite our ability to believe in the unseen world. I mean, the science fiction world. If it does not exist in the visual word, it's given light in the unseen world of sci-fi. It's easy to look past race, religion, ailments, past, present and future. A simple solution to our current problem is not abandoning our foundation, but build on it. Standardize geo-tracking in all weapons. if gps is tampered with reclaim or render weapons useless. As well as other tech such as infrared scanners and geo-locators in gun-free zones. As well as other deterrents such as bi-yearly physical and mental health review/test and weapons law review/test. Increase penalty for law violation as well.

    December 17, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  13. Anonymous

    By all means, let's ban guns! We all know that criminals obey the laws!!!

    December 17, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  14. No

    Banning guns is not the answer because guns are not the problem. Our society's deterioration is the problem. We have become so fast-paced, so busy and complex with so much focus on production that many young people don't develop the same moral fiber and character that others did 30 years ago. They lack proper parenting, family structure, and faith in God or anything greater than themselves. The result, every so often, is some psycho who decides to ruin lives and take his own without any remorse. That should be the issue at hand. Banning guns does not eliminate crime. Terrorists will still find ways to terrorize, with or without AK's. Ban guns today, and tomorrow we will be talking about Molotov cocktails, samurai swords, gasoline and chainsaws. More careful thought needs to be given to the nature and cause of these events.

    Banning guns is lazy and reactive. America deserves more. We can do better.

    December 17, 2012 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  15. DevilDogOz

    Not only did she send sales of the weapons that will be banned through the roof, she also just allowed the sellers of magazines and assault weapons to spike their prices. Since the automatic weapons ban went into place in 1986, banning sales to the public of class III weapons, prices for those guns have gone up %1000 – If I sell some of my inventory I may be able to recoup some of what my retirement accounts have lost since the re-election!

    December 17, 2012 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  16. dan trickele

    Stupid normal citizens, a cop is a normal citizen too capable of losing it...We'll see if you miss your weapons when the Government takes you over. You all are grown children who love to be controlled. You all need a lifetime mommy and daddy to hold your hand.

    December 17, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  17. Stein

    Big surprise, feinstein trying to ruin a good thing.

    Are we going to even mention the fact that pistols are more effective or will you let this 80 year old woman LIE TO YOU ON PURPOSE to get you to throw your freedoms away?

    December 17, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  18. Saber

    As I live here in the United Soviet Socialist Republic of Kalivornia, let me elighten folks who may know nothing about Dianne Feinstein; she has a Concealed Wepaons Permit and carries a 9mm Pistol on her person. So tell me how her rabid logic of banning Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazine Bans is going to do anything against CRIMINALS?

    As I have been following this situation, this is very sad. But this is not a call for rash decisions by a Senator(s), Boxer and Pelosi included; whom have created more problems in our state that any of us want to mention. They are all from San Francisco! Need I say more?

    What is needed is for School Districts to do what was needed years ago shortly after the Columbine incudent. Hire Pricvate Security Officers, (Armed), to patrol the campus, perform Security Checks at the entrances to the campuses, (Just like the Federal Office Buildings, County Office Buildings and many other installations of this type), but your school district officials would rather feather their own nests at the expense of safety of our children. I don't believe school administrators need to be earning $250,000.00 per year at the cost of student safety.

    Are more assault weapons bans going to solve the issue? No its not.

    Placing properly trained security personnel in these buildings during school hours will.

    And... its up to all of you to impose this upon your school districts through your local PTA. If you don't you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    As for Feinstein, don't lend too much to her radical solutions. They haven't worked here in California, they won't work on a nationwide basis.

    All of this said, should civilians have access to militart type assault rifles? Heck no!

    But remember, the laws folks like Feinstein want o enact will not harm people like them who are the eleite of our society, have their own personal security detail, live in gated communities, are completely out of touch with our neighborhoods, and the fact Law Enforcement takes an average of 30 minutes to respond to any situation.

    As a Licensed Firearm Instructor, I can tell you this, 30 minutes is a very long time to wait when your life is on the line. Just peaking from personal experience, (former Armored Car Personnel).

    December 17, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  19. Scotty

    get real. all of you stark raving libs. get real. banning guns does nothing to stop criminals. but you dont understand that. you think, you really think, that when you "ban evil guns" (the thought that an inanimate object can be good or evil confuses me) that the bad guys are just going to turn them over? you think their found now?

    do you really think that?

    if so your lying to yourself.

    no one needs to go to 60mph in less than 4 seconds, so does that mean we ban anything with more than 200hp? do we ban alcohol so drunk drivers wont kill? i know, lets bad hamburgers since americans are fat too...

    like everything else on capitol hill, and everything with the average mass-consumer in the US, we blame the instrument, and not the composer. this is stupid, and anyone thinking less than that is just fooling themselves. go be a victim, move out of the country, dont really care, but dont make me become a victim without ANY hope of protecting myself because you have a problem with the tool of the trade.

    December 17, 2012 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  20. Janice

    Such a terrible, terrible tragedy with the shooting of innocent children. Stopping gun violence in our country is long past-due. Laws and amendments must be implemented quickly due to this state of emergency. And more funding needs to be directed for those in need of serious mental heathcare.

    December 17, 2012 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  21. Pete from MN

    Funny politicians just made it more expensive to buy a gun. Now I'm going to have to buy a Bushmaster before they're illegal.

    December 17, 2012 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  22. j

    Feinstien just single-handedly sends assault rifle sales through the roof.- Ditto !!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 17, 2012 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  23. HIllary Must Testify ON Benghazi! Obama gave guns to the terrorists in benghazi!

    this bill is to get … 'weapons of war' off the street of our cities," she said. this is what she really meant to say " this bill is to get "rifles" out of the home of licensed civilians". A semi auto is not a weapon of war no idiot goes to war with a semi auto

    December 17, 2012 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  24. G_Edwards

    It's easy and makes good headlines to start making more laws about guns.

    What's hard is addressing the core issue: figuring out how to identify and handle people who have the mental state to carry out such horrendous acts.

    IMO dealing with the latter is what's needed and where true leaders should concentrate their efforts.

    December 17, 2012 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  25. Patriot

    Protect your family and your country, not your politics. You'll get my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hand.

    December 17, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
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