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. kr

    although gun owners have rights, the people on the other end of the barrel also have rights, no different than states which band smoking in public places, or auto registration laws. i do not want to take guns away, but i want the same laws which provide rights to everyone that are used with cars with one exception, i want a 30 day waiting period for each and every gun purchased, registration and tags w/fees, 1 year renewal w/fees, transfer fees, gun safety class, written test, shooting test, liability insurance for every gun, with a million dollar minimum, and a ban on all assualt weapons and large clips. this does not take away guns from anyone and will create a larger cloak of protection for all citizens.
    i would think the members of the NRA and all gun owners would see this as a responsible solution to gun ownership. the insurance would gurantee protection for those injured or killed, and restitution for families. it will also gurantee that these weapons of destruction will be well cared for and kept in a safe place.
    and if it comes to a fight publicly, do as they do in a court of law, show as many pictures of the slaughtered bodies and that will be the end of their quest.
    guns have created a epidemic of killing in this country and its time they have responsible rules.

    December 16, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Figures this legislation is being pushed from Commiefornia.
    Reinstating the AWB will do little to curb gun violence in the US. As is stated in the article the AWB will only be in effect moving forward, it will not be retroactive. The reason they won't make it retroactive is because the politicians KNOW that the populace would never stand for that. If the politicians TRULY wanted to take these guns out of the hands of citizens they would make it retroactive. This is just another attempt to give the country a "false sense of security" while infringing on our rights guaranteed to us under the constitution and accomplishing very little.
    Do all you readers know how many of these types of firearms exist in law abiding homes today? If any of the readers here follow gun sales in recent history Americans are buying firearms now more than we ever have in the past, due to the way things are trending and the current administration. It is nearly impossible to find AR15 components in stock with distributors, everything is back ordered. The firearms industry employs lots of people and generates lots of tax dollars. Reinstating the AWB will affect the lives of many Americans who have built or are building their lives with firearms industry income. There are companies that exist who ONLY make firearms that would be affected by this AWB reinstatement. Those companies have employees.
    I would like to remind you all of one thing, 9/11 was accomplished with box cutters.

    December 16, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. lee

    These people arent any more mental than any other person. The problem in our society today is that we have lost respect & value for human life. Some of the contributers that caused this crime are as follows believe it or not.
    1. Divorce
    2. abandonment issues, kids left alone with no love due to divorce, mothers and dad going out to work.
    3. leaving children to play violent video games for hours on end.
    4. computers and the violence about different crimes, post chats, etc... Ruination of the country
    5. media coverage of violence.
    6. copycat crimes
    7. wants to feel important and go down in history
    8. Violent music
    *******1960's 70's kids were picking up football games in the neighborhoods not mass shootings!
    X enforcement!

    December 16, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Actual American

    Banning any kind of gun in the country to came to be by being able to BEAR ARMS or even trying to ban any form of a gun in the country should be considered Treason. If you do not like America and the founding principles then find a new home. Also that pathetic British Scourge of Propaganda Piers Morgan should NOT be allowed on TV because he is trying to use his TV slot to use a TRAGIC and HORRIBLE situation committed by a sick individual to push his own misguided and DISGUSTING views on a COUNTRY HE DOES NOT BELONG TO.

    December 16, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Joe from PA

    And as much as everyone loathes "Assault Rifles", they are RARELY the tool of choice in these horrific events

    December 16, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Bystander

    I do not think people understand what an "assault weapon" truly is? I mean can someone here actually define to me what that term means? I own zero "assault weapons" yet I own several semi-automatic rifles that have the capability of being far more deadly than these "assault rifles." The assault rifles we are talking about are semi-automatic (fire one round each time the trigger is pulled) and tend to be .223 caliber. Which in all honestly is a varmint gun. These are not "weapons of war" all this is just political rhetoric to make them out to be this big black scary guns. weapons of war are fully automatic rifles. I just hate reading peoples statements that's just regurgitated rhetoric. I hope people can take these issues do a little research (from both sides) and form an opinion of their own.

    December 16, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Matt

    All hail the new era of the fertilizer bomb...

    December 16, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. Richard

    "gun's do not kill people, people kill people", true. However, the intent of the proposed legislation is to limit the number of high-capacity guns and semi-automatic weapons available on the streets of our country.

    People have always killed other people since the beginning of recorded history. Therefore, it makes no sense to allow easy access to weapons specifically designed to kill large numbers of people rapidly.

    Consider: How many of those 27 innocent children and adults killed on Friday would be alive today if the killer only had access to one single-shot rifle?

    I'm not against people having guns, especially if it is for sport, but why do we need so many weapons that are easily purchased and designed to kill large numbers of people quickly and efficiently?

    I say, only allow either one (1) rifle with an internal clip maximum of four rounds OR one(1) revolver with a maximum of five rounds per each 18 year old American citizen. There is no need for anything more than that. In fact, please reference one story in the past 25 years in which an innocent, non-law enforcement American citizen defended themselves and/or others using a semi-automatic weapon against a perpetrator with similar weaponry.

    Leave the serious weaponry in the hands of law enforcement and the military. Please.

    December 16, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. RRJ

    If this guy had to reload every 6 shots someone might have stopped him. Neither hunting or home defense require assault guns of this type.
    I own guns and I'm in favor of this ban. And my rights won't be infringed.

    December 16, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Thank you Senator Feinstein for standing up for the rights of our innocent children to grow up in a safe society OVER the rights of a few people to hold their beloved guns. I choose our children's future any day. To all posters, this is not the full answer, but it is a first step in the right direction. Silence and inaction is not enough, we need to take measurable action in some direction. We can look to other remedies, but let us not let this tragedy go in vain and let us take action. All I see from Republicans and NRA is silence, they want us all to be silent.

    December 16, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Dennis Freeman


    December 16, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Actual American

    Banning any kind of gun in the country to came to be by being able to BEAR ARMS or even trying to ban any form of a gun in the country should be considered Treason. If you do not like America and the founding principles then find a new home. Also that pathetic British Scourge of Propaganda Piers Morgan should NOT be allowed on TV because he is trying to use his TV slot to use a TRAGIC and HORRIBLE situation committed by a sick individual to push his own misguided and DISGUSTING views on a COUNTRY HE DOES NOT BELONG TO.


    introducing to you the problem in this country...the crazy "2nd amendment' idiots on the right!

    the constitution was written in a time where the type of weaponry of today DID NOT EXIST!!! this is not what the forefathers had in mind when they put in the 2nd amendment..in those times we had bayonets and canons! right wing 2nd amendment gun right nut jobs should all be put in an asylum!

    December 16, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Bill

    Those who would sacrifice freedom for security end up with neither. Tragedy is not an excuse to limit our freedoms. Our prayers go out to all those families who suffered a loss no one could imagine. Lets leave the polical discourse out of this issue. WE ARE FREE because our founders knew individual freedoms also mean resisting the government when they try and limit that freedom.

    December 16, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. GrogInOhio

    puh-leez... the cliche' that "guns don't kill people, people kill people", is getting so old, it's pure nonsense and babbling. Common sense means of gun control... make ownership just as difficult as Republicans try making it to vote. Require registration, viable government issued ID and a felony to own or carry someone else's registered weapons. And stop the idiocy like Ohio allowing guns in bars... cuz what could go wrong there?

    December 16, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. rmuser

    Anyone who is if favor of an assault weapons ban should take the time to read about what exactly an assault weapons ban is. Cook County IL. has an assault weapons ban yet you can still buy assault weapons in Cook County, explain that one. These weapons bans do absolutely nothing, it's foolish to support them. The ten year federal ban from 94 to 04 had zero affect on gun crime. Do the research for yourselves. Proposing and supporting these bans is knee jerk B.S.

    December 16, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Its certain better than nothing. But did it have to take the lives of these innocent babies before we even introduce such bans? We need to be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE on such atrocities.

    December 16, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Jacqueline

    Does this mean that Eric Holder won't be allowed to send weapons to Mexico again???

    December 16, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. sqeptiq

    Actual american said " If you do not like America and the founding principles then find a new home. Also that pathetic British Scourge of Propaganda Piers Morgan should NOT be allowed on TV"
    I could have sworn that freedom of speech was one of our founding principles. Do you suppose he even knew what he was writing? TPNRAFoxbot!

    December 16, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Retiredtrooper

    Why is it always the guns that are to blame. Shoundn't the person using them be blamed? Using the rational of the Gun Control People then all automobiles should be banned because someone gets drunk and gets behind the wheel, yet nothing is said about banning muscle cars.

    December 16, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. RINO Bill

    Pass her bill ... it will have no effect, except to create a larger black market in firearms. Getting rid of violent games and toning down violence on TV and in the movies will have a more far more reaching effect.

    December 16, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Douglas P. Jackson

    Senator Feinstein ought to wait for the grieving to subside and all of the answers are in regarding the human dynamics that led to this tragedy. Sadly Feinstein is prostituting this tragedy for political gain. I am well aware of Feinstein's ascension in politics as a result of gun violence.

    It is not about the gun. It's about the social, mental, emotional, and psychological health of this nation. Is that too obtuse for Senator Feinstein and people of a similar mindset?

    Apparently so.

    December 16, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Name

    If Fienstein wants a weapon ban due to Ct tragedy, why not reverse Roe vs Wade? Kids are kids right?

    December 16, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. lee

    Here is for the fellow above who wants to know why these are targeted weapons saying they are just semi automatic.
    People want them because they law & military uses them except full auto. They look like their guns so they want them!!
    They are the weapons used in the violent video games and they are the weapons that started all these mass shootings and people and kids know its the weapon of choice. Do your research and go back to the late 1980's when the FBI was in a shootout in FLA. Then look at the Hollywood Ca. shootout and this will give you the picture you need to see and it will answer your question as to why are people saying these are bad guns!!

    December 16, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Jay

    Im left speechless reading all these comments. You are slapping our forefathers and every solder that has fought and bled for this country in the face. They put the 2nd amendment in the Constitution not for hunting but to keep the country free. You laugh and say look at this guy but I urge you to read history and not what Kim Kardashian is doing. Germany, Cuba, and Venezuela are all states that took away guns and their freedoms were soon to follow. Our society is sick we need to stop chasing the dollar and texting with our co workers about the affair freddy is having. Get involved with your kids talk to them hug them give them a sense of self and tools to succeed in life and things will change. By banning guns your just arming criminals

    December 16, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What does Israel do to protect their schools and children, I've never heard of their children being slaughtered in schools. Whatever Israel is doing, we must do to protect our children.

    December 16, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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