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. Tommy G

    Unfortunately, the shooter's mother was not an intelligent gun owner in this case. Any person with a mental condition of any sort should never be allowed access to guns under any circumstances. If she had guns, they should have been kept locked up. She paid dearly for her mistake but unfortunately many others did as well.

    December 17, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    shadylady wrote:

    an assault weapon ban is fine & dandy.,,(because there is no reason for a civilian to own one)..but what the hell good is it going to do for the lowlife that gets them off the streets illegally,(like gangs,& the mafia,& the black market),that has them shipped to the united states...
    Uh, I hate to break the bad news to you, but I must. Most "lowlifes" on the street are going to use a weapon that they can conceal; like a pistol. Police have a tendency to stop people walking down the street carrying rifles that look like the pictures that I've seen of the weapon the shooter was supposed to have been carrying.

    If the weapons were more tightly regulated, then the weapons would not be as available on the black market that you fear. This would be the case because of simple math. Fewer assault rifles initially sold, means fewer assault rifles on the black market.

    December 17, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Paul

    1. Where are all these people getting these selective fire variants of Bushmasters without a class III license?

    2. Firearms legislation should require passing a basic test of terminology and identification before being allowed to submit or vote on a bill. I have to get a permit to carry, they should have to get a permit to legislate.

    December 17, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. civitar

    Why doesn't she introduce a bill on "term limits"?

    December 17, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Rod

    When will the extreme liberals figure out its not the guns, Assult weapons have not injured or killed anyone in 70 years. they should look at the culture and Hollywood. States with little gun control like North Dakota have not had a murder in many years, states like Washington DC where even bullets are banned have the highest murder rates in the nation...the funny thing is they have some of the toughest laws on gun control..even banning them

    December 17, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Jeffrey T. Johnson

    It figures it would be a bastion of the liberal causes to propose another gun ban......Feistein...really?!??!?

    December 17, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. truth, truth and more truth

    nothing drives gun sales through the roof more than these incidents and the liberals threatening to ban weapons! keep up the good work.

    December 17, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. rs

    Tim in Texas-
    Guns are tools of death. Kinda makes you wonder why anyone would be so fascinated by them that they fail to see the inherrent danger of making them so freely available. It doesn't take genius to see the correlation between gun availability and horrific crime.

    December 17, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. rs

    CA Independent

    Leave it to Feinstein to take advantage of a tragic situation to try and ban a weapon that wasn't even used at the school. Simply disgusting!

    Sure it was just the slaughter of 20 children.

    December 17, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. beargrease

    The most direct path to sanity and return to values that would go far in reducing the crazies out there would be to ban liberals. They just don't get the connection between their amoral b.s. about removing anything religious to the decline of social behavior. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Ten Commandments are a pretty good guide to acceptable behavior.

    December 17, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Logic N LA

    Yes the man was mentally ill- he got his hands on guns. True- not all guns are used to kill people, but 90% are used to kill something. A person drinking usually does it to have fun- driving is to get somewhere- pulling the trigger on a gun is to shoot- something or someone. There is never an equasion that can compare a gun to any other weapon. And no other weapon can kill as quickly or as many in a short time that is not banned or controlled. By it's nature- a gun is not a positive thing.

    December 17, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Gun Owner wrote:

    Wow these people do not get it. Look on Wikipedia and the research pertaining to the 1994 assault weapons ban "That study by Christopher S. Koper, Daniel J. Woods, and Jeffrey A. Roth of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania found no statistically significant evidence that either the assault weapons ban or the ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets had reduced gun murders."
    Their studies were seriously flawed. They compared years with the Brady Law in effect to years prior to it being enacted. Sounds good, right? Nope. Because they compared assault weapons that were not produced during both periods.

    In other words, they compared the number of apples before the Brady Bill to the number of oranges after the bill went into effect. They also compared a time frame when there were fewer weapons overall, to a period when assault weapons were far more numerous.

    They found that the number of reported incidents was unchanged. The numbers of incidents per XXX weapons dropped during the ban. Their report stating that there is no difference actually supports the effectiveness of regulating assault weapons.

    December 17, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. rs

    2 points-
    First the shooter killed himself- he can hardly be charged and tried.
    Second- perhaps if the gun owner had been responsible, her deranged son would not have had access to her weapons.

    December 17, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Anonymous

    The same people who say banning assault weapons won't change anything are the same people who say raising taxes on the rich won't help the deficit. No one is saying banning these weapons is going to turn the country into a crime free paradise but we have to start somewhere as things are completely out of control. No one, especially, the President has said that raising taxes on the rich will, in itself, reduce the deficit. These are just pieces of the puzzles but necessary ones and it is time to get the ball rolling once and for all.

    December 17, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. somebody

    The problem with all of this gun control legislation is that it is clearly unconstitutional. The right to bear arms shall not be infringed means that you cannot regulate it.

    Go read the 2nd Amendment. It explicitly uses the words "well regulated militia." Regulating guns is called for in the 2nd Amendment. That doesn't mean taking them all away either and I'm not advocating that.

    I tend to believe the constant diet of violence in movies, video games, and TV desensitize people to it. If you have seen hundreds of shootings in media by the time you're 20 years old, seeing it or doing it in real life is not shocking. Of course, banning any of that infringes on our 1st Amendment rights to free speech.

    No easy answers....

    December 17, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. Maximus9

    I wonder if any of you "non liberals" were burying your child today, would be talking non-sense. You people have it all backwards. Wake up already.

    December 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Anonymous

    "Leave it to Feinstein to take advantage of a tragic situation to try and ban a weapon that wasn't even used at the school. Simply disgusting!"

    Disgusting is when someone tries to argue a point over and over after that point has been debunked over and over.

    December 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. omeany

    It's time to wake up and stop the madness. There is no reason for anyone other than police and military personel to have access to high powered guns. You can argue that guns don't kill people, people kill people and I agree. However, access to assault rifles allow people to kill more more people efficiently.

    December 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. martin

    I know this is not PC but the on site photographs should be released to the public, to show what the reality is of a kid being shot 10 – 11 times with a tumbling .223 round.

    December 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Steve

    I believe this to be an part of an acceptable solution. I am a gun owner and a hunter, I don't believe assault weapons are necessary for hunting or for the intent of the 2nd amendment.

    December 17, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. the_dude

    Dont ban guns its plain and simple the mom is at fault for letting her derranged son have access to the guns. If anything ban derranged young boys.

    December 17, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. rs

    truth, truth and more truth-

    yes, it is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The NRA wants more and more guns available to more and more people, whether that makes any sense at all. More guns, more horrific crimes. It lies about "Obama is going to take your guns". Horrific crimes lead to (understandable ) public outrage calling for gun restrictions.

    If the gun lobby had only supported sensible gun restrictions and policed its own, this wouldn't be happening.

    December 17, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. the_dude

    Yay lets win the war on guns like we won the war on drugs!!! Yay team! high-fives all around!!!

    December 17, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "States with little gun control like North Dakota have not had a murder in many years,"

    That's so blatantly and proveably untrue. Here you are posting on the intertubes with ridiculously incorrect statements and you seem to be completely unaware of the existence of Google?

    December 17, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. zaskar

    Every state has different laws, pa has a background check for guns/rifles. I think the form ask you about mental problems also. there are too many assults rifles on street, how do you ban them?

    December 17, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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