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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Robin

    2nd amendment needs to be changed, just like the amendment that allowed slavery. If you boys grow up and start acting like men and change your behavior may be us women will not have to bury our children.

    December 17, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. noguns

    The system worked in that the shooter was not allowed to purchase guns. It failed because the mother was a gun collector and enthusiast and had several guns. The said guns were used on innocent civilians and kids. These same gun collectors and enthusiast who have their own crazy kids should be responsible enough or they will be victims themselves. I do not wish this on these gun enthusiast and collectors but certainly possible any day.

    December 17, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. AZ

    On Saturday I got a haircut at the little barber shop in a North Country (upstate New York) village of 1,200. There was an old man in his 80s who mentioned that when he was in school as a kid during hunting season he and his friends would bring their guns to school and stack them in the back of the class. After school they would go hunting. They never had a problem. He mentioned that the problem is that kids today grow up watching TV and movie violence, followed up with violent video games like his grandkids. Then TV shows were hard working people are routinely criticized and made fun of by the TV host. Our society has grown to embrace violence and to have contempt for other people. He is right. It’s not gun control, it’s our society. Just look for the movies being released for this Christmas season “Jack Reacher”, ” Django Unchained” … Come on folks take your kids to see more death and destruction on Christmas day! See, it isn’t guns or gun control, it’s us. Should we ban us?

    December 17, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Response to Enraged_Disgusted


    I've never seen a gun, or any other weapon or tool, sprout legs and arms, walk into a building and shoot a bunch of people. The issue isn't guns, the issue is WHY so many people are doing this? Answer this question and you've solved the problem. The previous "assault" weapons ban didn't work, nor will any future one because it doesn't answer this question. You're obviously blind to any real discussion of the real issue. Millions upon millions of Americans responsibly own guns...for hunting and sport.

    December 17, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Roger

    To late to ban guns. To many on the streets. It's the nut behind the trigger that kills.

    December 17, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |

    This law is not enought !!

    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!!!!

    December 17, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. George Levier

    The proper thing would be to outlaw VIOLENT VIDIO GAMES. From Columbine to this last tragedy, those guilty dressed and followed the methods of vidio game characters. The hollywood crowd gives too much to the Deemocrats for them to act. The first amendment does not protect the vidio games any more than the second amendment potects guns. If some guns can be outlawed, then some vidio games can be banned.

    December 17, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. California Gary

    How can some of you be talking about a "left wing agenda"? Those 20 murdered children are not an "agenda".....they are not something that the "left wing" made up in order to further their political views.......they were very real and they are very dead. Bringing forth sensible gun control is not an "agenda", it's a necessity if we are to try and lessen the chances for another event of this sort. Weapons that are designed for maximum killing of personnel in war time are not things that should be readily available to the general public, nor are high capacity magazines. No sane person can argue to the contrary.

    December 17, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Larry

    We had better reach out to your representative in congress and make sure that they understand where you as a voter stand on this issue.

    December 17, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. JW

    If you try to ban something I already own, like the Nazis, then you are looking for a fight. Instead of trying to make the weapons "bad" why not address the REAL problems of morality and "correct thinking." That’s an insane idea, right? I'm sure this is also in the Government plan right up there with the Patriot Act! The more population grows and the fewer jobs and the less people are able to see the American dream become a reality... There will always be someone that does horrific things. Egyptian leaders, Inca leaders, Hitler, Mussolini, the Christian crusaders, the Salem witch trials, etc. These are examples of our just a few of our own leaders committing atrocities and yet you want them to be the only ones with access to defensive means? “Those that ignore the past are condemned to relive it.”

    December 17, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. RJ

    We can ban assult weapons all day long. They were not used in this instance so it wouldn't have stopped this great tragedy. That Bushmaster .223 is a rifle, semi-automatic. 1 trigger pull, 1 projectile. Just like a shot semiautomatic shotgun, .22 or bb gun. Same with those handguns. A better start woudl be to reinstate the ban on high capacity magazines/clips. It would help mitigate risk associated with legal rifles and handguns.
    All this posturing with the Senetor is political and does not solve anything. You can't buy assault weapons legally, so your not stopping the root cause with this proposed legislation. Criminals will always find a way to get something illegal.

    December 17, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. ron

    put arm guards in schools,,,leave responsible gun owners alone. You cant seem to control drugs in this country. Spend our hard earned dollars on school safety from the mentally ill and drug dealers in major cities. This is a start,

    December 17, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Mark in St. Louis, MO

    Oh my, a US Senator is actually making an attempt to DISARM THE MILITARY!? The military are issued assault weapons and use them in combat. I guess this is an effort to cut Defense spending and potential waste, fraud, and abuse.

    Gee, I am glad that the "right to bear arms" of individual US citizens is intact since that will be our means of protecting us from the rise of a dictatorial government. I am also relieved that this isn't targeting the semi-automatic firearms that we US citizens own.

    December 17, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Jim

    For all of their blow and bluster, gun advocates' actions tell the world that they are scared and impotent.

    They live in constant fear that they will be attacked and need guns to "just in case."

    They are fatalists, resigned to helplessness. "We can't stop all murders so we shouldn't even try to stop any."

    Just proves gun owners ship is compensation for other inadequacies in their lives.

    December 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Steve

    This knee jerk response fails to address the source of the problem. Guns are not the source of the problem. The reality is that we need to start looking to where the real problems are: real or perceived mental illnesses, the way children are (not) being raised, their media intake, the people they keep company with, and so on

    December 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Roger wrote:

    To late to ban guns. To many on the streets. It's the nut behind the trigger that kills.
    Too many guns on the street, assault weapons in particular, was not a problem until the nuts fought to have them deregulated when the Brady Bill expired.

    December 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. ss

    For all you who help support killers like Beck Hannity Rush and FOX why not make hand grenades and other military weapons legal in the U.S.? If its the person then no weapon should be banned because they wont be a threat

    December 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. just sayin

    yeah, banning guns is the solution. because banning alcohol worked out really well! organized crime flourished and make huge sums of money, people being gunned down all over the place while people drank illegally. it had to be repealed because the side affects were worse than the alcohol ban.

    and that ban on illegal drugs? how is that going? a total joke, right? why? because if people want drugs, they will get them because criminals will provide them and get rich in the process.

    and why would banning guns be any different? it would not. all it will do is turn law abiding citizens into criminals while opening yet another black market for organized crime to floursih in.

    people need to get real.

    December 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. idb

    The problem is not guns. The real problem is the psychic medicines that more and more kids use. There is some enlightening information on youtube about that (can't place links here). As for Feinstein, it is an outrage that she tries to push her own radical agenda over the backs of those innocent victims.

    December 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. David

    People just do a quick google search of violent crime rates. Since the assualt weapon ban expired our population in this country has gone up by fifty million people, but our violent crimes have dropped by by 400,000 incidents and our murders have dropped from 16,148 to 14,612. During the assault weapon ban violent crime went as high as 13.86 million incidents while in 2011 with people allowed to purchase semi-automatic rifles and pistols for home defense and sporting uses we only had 10.26 million incidents. The numbers do not lie, with american citizens allowed to excercise thier constitutional rights we had 3.6 MILLION LESS incidents of violent crimes. That is 3.6 million less lives damaged and/or destroyed. There were 7,000 less murders! That is 7,000 people who got to go home to there families.

    Don't let the anti gun lobby play us like puppets. It is so easy to get emotional and when we get emotional we get irrational and make bad laws. Lets not forget that it was after 911 that we got the Patriot act which everyone from the ACLU to Ron Paul have decried as taking away many of the rights we used to enjoy as citizens. Once the government takes away rights and freedoms it is very unlikely to give them back.

    And all of you who are crying for a ban, someday you may be the victim of a violent crime and wish that you could get a weapon to protect yourself, and be unable to do so. Ask the Mexican families who have lost loved ones if they wish they could protect themselves. I think you would see the other side of this decision. Like the old saying goes, " When you pick up one side of the stick, you pick up the otherside too."

    December 17, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. DW

    I have played video games for the last 20 + years. I have seen the changes from the original Mario Bros. to games like Brink, Call of Duty Black Ops,Grand Theft Auto And though I do play some of the first person shooter games, I do have to agree that these games need to be blocked from reaching the hands of the public. They are too violent, graphic, and if you are already have mental issues can desensitize you to what is actually real in life. Our kids are growing up into a violent age tapped in from Hollywood blockbusters, music and video games. Control these at least some and we can control the amount of violence being filtered through these young people's minds.

    December 17, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Response to Douglas P. Jackson

    "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."

    Couldn't have said it better myself. They are so one track minded...someone should teach all these "ban gun" types how to do root/cause analysis.

    December 17, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Bill

    The second ammendment was there to allow US citizens the right to form an amred malitia in case we were under attack. 200 years later, we have the most powerful army in the world...so we don't need to form our own malitias. We can call 911 or the Coast Guard in case of emergencies.

    And PLEASE stop comparing gun bans to vehicle bans. The primary purpose of a vehicle is transportation...the primary purpose of a gun it to kill a person. If you ban assult rifles, then raise the tax and or price of ammunition...you reduce the number of gun deaths.

    Once you stop new purchases, then the government should have a gun buy-back program to get existing guns off the street. Turn in guns for $500, $1000, $1500...etc. No questions asked. It would be stimulous $$ for the economy, and if it only prevents 20 kids from being killed...it's worth even $100 Billion dollars.

    December 17, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Chriskup

    Assault weapons have one purpose, to kill masses of humans. Cars are made for one purpose, transportation. Trying to compare the two to justify why assault weapons should be made available to civilians is just bad logic. No easy answers here but banning assualt weapons / extended clips is a good start ( and unfortunately arming someone at every school also makes sense to me in these crazy times). The so-called right wing gun nut 'patriots' will scream second amendment rights and the beginning of the evil socialist Obama's grand scheme of disarming and takeover of the country, but I am sorry – time for the people with reason to make a stand for the innocent children that are being slaughtered. Enough is enough. And why we are at it, let's talk about health care, which includes mental health care, for every child and young adult in this country. By taking back this country from the radicals that hide behind their flag lapel pins to protect their own interests, we the people of reason can set us back on a course that would make our founding fathers proud of our courage and determination to provide liberty, justice, freedom, and safety for all – including our precious little children.

    December 17, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Beannemarie

    Bring back spanking..and prayer in school.......that will solve 90 percent of the problem

    December 17, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34