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. just askin

    if the 20,000 gun laws already on the books didn't prevent this then why would we expect another 20,000 laws to help? isn't that the definition of insanity? do you really think mentally insane people know about or consider laws when they do things like this? ridiculous.

    December 17, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. James PDX

    What practical purpose does any US civilian have for a semi-automatic weapon? What do you really lose if you can't have one? Were people terribly oppressed during the prior assault weapon ban?

    December 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Sniffit

    Brass tacks: gun lobby and coward gun activists want to prevent the conversation from even happening. Look at the posts. It's not "ok, but let's be reasonable here...let's try to come up with something that everyone can live with and that might actually work." No no. It's "nothing you do can possibly work, so you should give up and this conversation should never even happen."

    December 17, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Austin

    Gun ban? That is an irrelevant way to handle the issue. I guess it is just to gain political points. A Texas district is now going to allow teachers to carry guns. Now that is a constructive and practical way to address the issue. Legal or illegal, guns are going to be available to people wanting to commit a crime, the only way to prevent these atrocities is to properly train and arm law abiding citizens. I am a supporter of the second amendment, but I am completely open to making it a requirement to disclose any history of mental illness or disorders as part of the background check for purchasing a firearm, confidentiality be damned when you are purchasing something that has the power to take life.

    December 17, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |

    The three guns purchased legally were used to kill 20 children, do not care about stupid second amendment. Make laws to prohibit, to limit tis stupidity and nonsense!!!!

    Obama we who support you for 4 more years will be watching you on this !!!

    December 17, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. eric

    elderly drivers kill more innocent people than criminals do with assault weapons; maybe we should ban automobiles. Doctors kill more innocent people by prescribing the wrong drugs, maybe we should ban pharmaceuticals. We have 40 million responsible gun owners but the 2-3 rare instances a year when a nutcase goes off a cliff we use it to drive a political agenda that will blanket the entire country.

    December 17, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Garrett

    Welcome to the beginning of Mexico 2.0. Where civilians will soon be banned from possesing any form of fire arm. Where corruption will prosper and only crimminals and law enforcement will have fire arms. I'm looking to getting dual citizenship and move to Canada.. where more sane and civilized people live these days.

    December 17, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. David

    So..... You wanna start banning guns? Well, if you ban Guns, then you had better start banning automobiles for so-called killing innocent people due to driving while intoxicated! Just food for thought! Guns,cars,bats,knives,and even the bare hand of a human, These are considered to be tools, not killers! WAKE UP WASHINGTON!

    December 17, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. EricMD

    Obama, in 2008 you campaigned on gun control. You had a supermajority, why didn't you reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004? Why did you instead expand gun rights in the first four years in office, signing legislation that would allow people to carry weapons on Amtrak trains and in national parks? Were you afraid to lose an election? Shame on you, Obama.

    December 17, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. James PDX

    rs aka California Independent. The most recent report by the forensic experts is that the Bushmaster assault rifle was the only weapon discharged in the school and every victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds from it. Would you like to change your statement now?

    December 17, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Dave

    Over 900 exemptions !!! Really !!! Is this the best America can do ?? – Pathetic!

    December 17, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. truth, truth and more truth

    sorry, but my constitutional rights are protected as has been ruled by the supreme court. might i suggest you start locking up all the mentally ill people in this country? oh, that would violate their rights you say?! but you are advocating violating my rights and i have done nothing.

    December 17, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. patches64

    to rs Since CARS kill tens of thousands of people a year,including children,maybe we should ban them too?

    December 17, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. SavetheChildren

    Americans need to be disarmed and disarmed now. Every gun (not inactive historical pieces), doesn't matter make or model, should be collected, forcibly if necessary. There is absolutely no reason, not one at all why anyone should own a firearm.
    We have a strong military that can defend us so storing guns for the "invasion" is not necessary anymore.
    Our police officers can rapidly respond to 911 calls to handle the criminals.
    Our ranches and farms produce plenty of beef, fish, and poultry so there is no need to hunt, besides switching to vegan would same hundreds of millions of dollars and reduce green house gases.
    Shooting objects is not a sport, take up walking if you need exercise.
    Hopefully Obama will start a gun confiscation program starting the first of the year.
    And maybe all of the wood and metal from these horrible weapons of mass destruction can be used to make memorials for the fallen.

    December 17, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Tim in Texas

    Agreed, Guns are tools of death. They are also tools of defense. Guns are relatively freely available here in Texas. Not really a fascination as much a gun culture down here. As for your assertion between gun availability and horrific crime. From what I can tell all these recent mass shootings happen in places where guns are prohibitied, or places where there are strict gun laws. For every one of these mass shootings that are sensationalized in the media there are hundreds if not thousands of instances where a gun detered a crime or a bad outcome. Unfortunately those incidences don't make national headlines. Yesterday there was a nut in San Antonio that started firing outside a theater, he was shot 4 times before he hurt anybody.

    December 17, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Anonymous

    "Only an idiot, fed on Wayne LaPierre's imbecilic interpretations of our Constitution could believe that turning our country into a vast armed camp with people eager to use their weapons on each other, thinks that this will make us a better society. The NRA is preventing us from doing the heavy lifting."

    I agree. Apparently he's got them on the "cars kill people, too" NRA message of the day.

    December 17, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Larry

    I have been around guns my whole life and this is the issue. Who lets mentally impaired children shoot firearms? When common sense goes out the window and access to guns to those that would harm others that is the issue. We are in a violence culture( (video games and movies) and if you know someone unstable enough that would want to harm others and say nothing your the problem. You can't shield your children from the world forever and introducing them "personally" to sex, drugs, alcohol, and guns when they are ready. If they are capable of love & understanding consequences it is the only way. Non-existent fathers and weak parents are more to blame than anything.

    December 17, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Millerbarber

    Clearly we are not addressing the correct issues. The issue is we have people running around this country who need to be in institutions. If you want to blame someone blame the ACLU for fighting to get all these mentally ill people out hospitals and mental institutions. If you think you are going to stop shootings like this you must also believe in the Easter Bunny. People kill People not guns. In 1927 a person blew up a school killing over 35 people. That is more than Sandy Hook.

    December 17, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Who are you to tell me I have no reason for an assault weapon? Gun control is constitutional when reasonable. Assault weapons bans are not constitutional period! Require licenses, background checks, even storage requirements but bans will not succeed and Dianne FineSwine ( who says she can carry handguns but you can't) can drop her bogus self surviving crap.

    December 17, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Andy

    Feinstein wants to take away everyone's guns, but she wants to keep hers. How about she leads by example?

    December 17, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Dennis

    My heart goes out to the victims and families in Newtown, Connecticut.
    All of us want to know why it happened.
    As we search for answers we must consider that as a society our video games, music and television shows are filled with violence.
    As we become more hardened to scenes of killing and mutilation, those with diminished ability to tell right from wrong will more and more often mimic what they see and hear.
    Until we change our culture of violence eliminating firearms will have minimal impact and the killing will continue
    Unlike those mostly city dwellers who have never owned a gun, I don't see firearms as inherently bad.
    Those parents who think nothing of buying their children the latest video game or music cd, filled with scenes and lyrics of rape and pillage, killing and carnage are horrified at the very thought of a gun in their home.

    In my youth everyone had a toy gun with which conquered a make believe bad guy.
    Back then those kids who grew up playing with toy guns did not go on to be mass murders.

    December 17, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. John

    We should legalize automatic weapons and 30 round clips only when you are attending a NRA convention. How would the NRA board and officers like to make a presentation in front of an audience all carrying automatic weapons. Would a mass killing at an NRA convention change the NRA's crazy view of guns? Not likely!

    December 17, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. James PDX

    truth, truth and more truth – Sure, lock up all of the mentally ill people. However, since the GOP is trying to cut more and more of the "entitlement" programs, the mentally ill can't get treatment so there is no record of their mental illness until it is splattered all over the front page of the news with the number of small children they massacred. Also, who is going to pay for incarcerating all of these people? It's quite expensive.

    December 17, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Krisagi

    Banning guns wont eliminate violence. Guns(such as the Glock or the AR-15) are neither inherently good nor evil it is how the gun is used that defines what it is. A Computer is the same way. Put the computer in the hands of a child and you have a entertainment device or an educational device. Put that same computer in the hands of someone like Kevin Mitnick and you have a weapon of unknown potential. Or even worse put that same computer in the hands of a child predator like Dr. Pete Thomas and you have a way to harm children. Last example is based on the disgraced Florida Lawyer Jack Thompson who claimed computers can also be used as murder simulators. Based on the ignorance of people like Dianne Feinstein and Jack Thompson since people like Kevin Mitnick and Pete Thomas can use computers to harm people we should ban all computers.

    December 17, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. jerry wood

    so many have happened so far..,,,,but lately the ones doing the shootings,,,are done by those who have mental,,,,
    prob. and can get a gun from MOM and goes nuts...,,,,,,,when 1 question i dont hear asked at alll....,,,,,,,ANY MENTAL PROB. IN THE FAMILY????? then do a back ground check on them and the family any..,,,and i mean any at all thay DONT GET ONE....................................................................................................................................................tyvm

    December 17, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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