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. UDidntBuildThat

    " Don't you idiots understand that owning a gun doesn't make you brave or tough? A gun should be for your home protection. If that's the case you don't need an M4 or Bush Master .223 or an M16, grenade launcher and tons of ammo. Its doubtful anyone will come into your home that will require such resistance."
    None of those weapons were used in the murder in CT. So lets ban something that was not even remotely involved? Really? The No cause of death to kids in So. Florida is drowing should we outlaw the beaches, pools and bathtubs? Or simply ask parents to watch/supervise their kids and parent them for change?

    December 17, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Laurie in Spokane

    Feinstein isn't looking to ban all guns or overturn the constitution. She's merely trying to ban those weapons that are 99.9% designed to kill people. Weapons like that belong in the military and with law enforcement only. I'm all for it.
    Well past time to stop selling those weapons to anyone who can pass a background check. They're still only for killing people.

    December 17, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. JW

    If they ban my guns they will become rare and worth a LOT of money. If they ban possession then the Government will have to purchase my guns at 1000 fold the money I spent on them. My $1,200.00 gun is now worth $12,000.00.
    If they don't purchase my LEGALLY purchased guns then they are in effect depriving me of MONEY. That is taxation without representation.

    Plus, this is exactly what big Governments want because then they can remove the FIRST AMENDMENT as well.

    December 17, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Gerald wilson

    tim-what are you going to do with a single shot weapon if 1 shot does not disable an attacker or if there are more than one?Besides, there is no such thing as a single shot revolver. I think you are fibbing! There are millions of full auto weapons available to crazies in the country–in the military. Think those will not get into the hands of the crazies? a few years ago, the FBI could no t account for hundreds of its guns.Look at Mexico–money talks, guns walk.We spend billions on the War onDrugs, and look how successful that is.Cigarettes and booze kill tens of thousands a year.Car accidnts kill more than fire arms even including all the suicides which make up the majority of the deaths due to guns. Logic dosn't enter into this discussion.

    December 17, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. MrId

    There is no difference between a "assault rifle" and a hunting rifle. Both are semi-automatic, high powered rifles. One just looks scary. So I guess we should ban scary looking weapons?

    If you want to make a difference, ban semi-automatic weapons. Force folks to go back to bolt-action and revolvers.

    Why don;t we go one step further and go to muzzle loaded weapons only....

    December 17, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Anonymous

    "There is one very simple way to stop this type of violence in schools against children, teachers and administrators – put locks on every access point so that nobody from the outside can enter except by a monitor on the inside who has to unlock the door, which would, of course, be easily opened from the inside by anybody needing to get outside in case of an emergency."

    These measures were already in place. Lanza used his fire power to shatter the glass and slid in through the broken glass. He was also wearing a bullet proof vest.

    December 17, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Ed1

    Gun ownership will never end we have to understand that if someone wants to kill people other ways will be found. Banning guns is not the answer common sense is but we are people don't seem to have that anymore.

    December 17, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Andrew

    As a responsible arms owner I am wondering why we arent going to the source of the problem! Parents and controll over their kids....this kid took his unresponsible parents gun which should have been locked up from this unstable kid! Take these guns away from responsible people and make us victims of these killers......not happy!

    December 17, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. UDidntBuildThat

    Wrong, Rick. The children should have been armed, too, so that they could defend themselves after the teachers went down.
    If u work in a school and u see a guy shoots his way in and starts shooting up the place and u have a weapon, what would u do? Wait for help as the kids are slaughtered? Or do u put him down? Oh but wait. There is a ban on guns at schools. Well that really worked. Gee u think if someone else besides the bad guy was armed at the school we would have a different outcome?

    December 17, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Sniffit

    We're done listening to you 2nd Amendment gun fanatic cowards. Bark at the moon all you want. Whistle by the graveyards where those children are buried. WE'RE. DONE. LISTENING.

    December 17, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Call the weapon whatever you want, it fired 30 bullets in rapid succession, if he had used a clip with few bullets, he would have had to take time to reload, during those precious seconds, maybe another child could have hid or be hidden.

    Today there will be two funerals, you semi-automatic gun supporters with extended clips, can argue amongst yourselves whether little Norh or Jack's lives was worth your right to own 30 round magazines.

    December 17, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. farmboy

    Police raid wrong house and shoot owner (ban police), drunk driver 4th offense kills family (ban cars) and wife stabs husband to death during argument (ban knives). Once again the anti-gun people are using a tragedy to further advance their agenda. Millions of gun owners do not go out and commit crime but enjoy days at the range with the family shooting targets with shotguns, pistols with high cap mags and yes semi-auto ar-15 rifles with high cap mags. And yet, an individual goes out and kills innocent people and it is because of the guns and high cap mags. When in a free society should the majority be punished for the crimes of the few.

    December 17, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. rs


    This one is real easy. People who buy, use, sell, or otherwise work in the firearms trade, and dealing with products that have but ONE purpose: to kill.

    That makes guns different from just about anything else that might kill someone intentionally or otherwise.

    You can pander the old "that's not an assault weapon" silliness all you want- but here's the truth: the faster a gun can fire, the more it can kill. The more rounds it holds the greater of the number killed between re-loads. It functionally doesn't matter whether the guns the killer used Friday are assault weapons or not. He had very effective tools of death, and he used them on CHILDREN.

    The problem is: first- no one needs these guns, not for hunting, not for protection, not for "sport", and; the mentally ill certainly should not have access to these weapons- precisely because of events like this.

    The nuts at the NRA have long ago bought and paid for their GOP mouth pieces (like that fool in Texas in an earlier story)- this is another lobby they will have to divorce. Tools of death should not be readily available in a civilized society, nor should they be available without appropriate screening.

    More guns is NOT the answer. Think just for a few seconds.... ARMED TEACHERS??? Do you realize just how freakin' crazy that sounds? What's next? Armed priests? Armed nurses? How about arming the first-graders?

    December 17, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. Nick

    The proposed weapons ban will do nothing to abate the type of violence exhibited in Newton, CT. As for the 2nd amendment, it most certainly will cause a challenge to the bill. Consider an alternative. First, why attack a school? Because the attacker knows that there are no guns there and no one to stop them until police arrive. Therefore, if an attacker knew that there were an unknown number of guns and people trained to use them, it creates a deterrent. So, allow teachers and administrators to carry guns to school. However, in keeping with the 2nd amendment, they would all be trained to use the weapon, how and where to store it, and, most importantly, how to respond to a threat in an effective manner. You would have, in effect, a well-armed militia in place at all times ready to defend the students. These people would not receive extra pay, so this is a very cost-effective response. They would receive proper training which would be at the expense of the school system, but that would be minimal. I daresay the NRA would likely offer low or no cost training to help address this issue. Further, this plan could be in place in a matter of months without Congress having to do anything.

    December 17, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Wes Scott wrote:

    There is one very simple way to stop this type of violence in schools against children, teachers and administrators – put locks on every access point so that nobody from the outside can enter except by a monitor on the inside who has to unlock the door, which would, of course, be easily opened from the inside by anybody needing to get outside in case of an emergency.
    Dude, those protections were already in place. He shut out the re-inforced glass door with the assault rifle. Turn off the right wing media.

    Tom, Tom...wrote:

    ...If you think banning guns is going to make them disappear you’re an even bigger moron than you come off. . Just ask the residents of Chicago or NYC.
    The Chicago ban on concealed weapons and handguns was overturned by a federal judge more than two years ago. The rise in violent crime within the city over the past couple of years coincides with that repeal.

    New York City's attempts to regulate concealed weapons and control handguns have also been overturned.

    December 17, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "The assault weapons thing is nonsense. Connecticut already has the former "assault weapons" ban in effect and look what happened. Its a political piece of posturing put together to make people think something is being done. "

    We have to start somewhere. If the gun lobbies can block something as common sense as a ban on assault rifles and automatic weapons designed with no other purpose than to pump out 12,15, 30, 60 rounds per minute in order to kill PEOPLE, then clearly we're never ever going to make any progress whatsoever on this issue. In that case, better send your kids to school in Fischer Price flak jackets and buy a good life insurance policy on them to cover the funeral costs for this "price we pay for our freedom." Your child's life might be the next coin spent.

    December 17, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. BobFromPA

    I own rifles and shotguns. I cannot find any reason to own a large magazine weapon of any kind, be that a hand gun, shotgun or rifle. Large capacity magazines need banned now with a fine of $1,000.00 or more per clip if you are caught. All clips and guns should be limited to 3 rounds period and all should be registered. It is time to put Pandora back in her box!

    December 17, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. krabz

    You know, if we take all of the "assault" rifles and paint them baby blue instead of black, the anti-gunners won't know that they are "assault" rifles and they'll quit bothering us.

    December 17, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. PFC Grayson

    this is wrong. criminals will always have access to guns. all the shooting have happened in high gun control states. and the government is inching closer to violating our 2nd amendment.

    December 17, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Voter

    Typical liberal reaction – ban "assault weapons" and it will all stop. So the next mentally ill person uses a shotgun to kill people – do we then ban all shotguns? Then the next mentally ill or pissed of teen uses his car to run down kids at a bus stop – do we then ban all cars? This is meaningless and all for political gain.

    December 17, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. UDidntBuildThat

    Millions of people own lots of guns and don't go out killing innocent kids. This legislation is abuse of power at the highest. None of the guns in this legislation were used a the crime scene. It makes no sense but is once again another way for Dems to "never let a good crisis go to waste".
    I hope it fails.

    December 17, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Don

    It needs fto come from a conservative. Someone please step up.

    December 17, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. IvotedforObama

    So all the assualt weapons out there that a guy can get ahold off will be pulled off the streets? This bill will be ineffective.

    December 17, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. rs

    Wes Scott-

    FYI- The school was locked- as it is everyday after the Pledge of Alliegance. The killer broke in.

    As a citizen, I find it troubling that in order to give special rights to kooks with guns, that you propose locking public buildings. The problems is the people who have access to guns that shouldn't, and a specialized lobbyist groups (the NRA) that want more, more, more guns- along with large capacity clips, rapid-fire technology and cop-killing ammo. THAT my friend is what is extreme. In most places they would be considered a terrorist organization.

    More guns isn't the answer.

    December 17, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Lionel

    Let's start by banning assault weapons and then deal with the other issues. We can't go on like this, and we need to start somewhere. Just ban these guns that can pulverize people. We don't need these for hunting.

    December 17, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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