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. JK

    Before you ban guns you had better ask yourself how important is it. Who will collect these guns? The police, the military? Trust me both of those organizations won't. Too many of them own guns. Reality exsists. The people who own guns in this country will in fact take this as the last straw. A nut did a nutty thing. No law would have prevented it. I love my country and I would hate to see it tear itself apart. Go after guns and you will not believe how bad this would get.

    December 17, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Ramki

    For all those that say "Gun is not a problem, only today's society is"....Do we have a way to change the society. Or do we even attempt to change the society. Instead why not throw out a old 2nd ammendment that doesn't fit today's society. Or the old way of allowing people to own guns doesn't work in today's society. Let us not beat the bush and try to blame on everything else but the gun itself. Pure simple, countries where they do have gun control, mass killings like this DOES NOT happen. Stop all the nonsense and take out guns from all the people in america. Anyday I would have given my life for the 6year olds and 7 year olds that died on Friday. My daughter is 7 years old and today she went to school. I felt like the school is taking it chances until someone breaks in there before we could remove guns from people.

    December 17, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Beannemarie

    Bring back fathers....spankings and prayer.......there lies the problem.

    December 17, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Gary

    Sorry to bust your bubble folks, but stricter gun ban laws will not work. Yes, it will keep us law abiding people from purchasing them, but the fact is these will always be available on the black market, you can't stop the sale of any type of weapon, no more than you can stop the sale of drugs.

    December 17, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. gordyb

    David, how many violent crimes were directly related to gun ownership and not better security and police? How come we never read about a gun owner defending his or her property? What we do see is mass murders, street crime and stupid handling of fire arm stories. Your argument is full of number but short on provable facts. If your child was killed in that school what would all your guns at home have done to protect her or him?

    December 17, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. draco

    As a legal and responsible gun owner, I would like to see stronger regulations and penalties in the use of a weapon (gun, knife, bomb, pipe, etc) in committing a crime. But even prior to that, it isnt the guns it is those that use them!! Manage that better to start. It needs to be done at the local, state, AND Federal level, and all tied into one systems!!

    Politics be damned, but it needs to be done right. Anyone in their right mind that thinks the criminals will not get ahold of the weapons or magazines after any bill is placed is out of their minds! Drugs are outlawed they get across the border and into the hands of those that would use them for violence. Law enforcement needs to be better trained and funded along with more available State (local and state agencies) along with Federal agencies in cooperating with one another in going after illegal guns.

    Assault weapons, please define for me what that is?? 10 rounds? Really? And what is to say then if someone doesn't now carry 2 revolvers and extra ammo for those? What about a hunting rifle being used by someone? It isnt the weapons it is the individuals that need to be stopped!!

    Evil will always happen, it isn't the object that needs to be looked at, it is the source (the individuals!!)

    Sure there are loop holes and items that for gun control that should be looked at, but that will not stop violence or evil in the world, I am just stating that in weighing the measures to be taken, they shouldn't be so restrictive to restrict freedom either.

    December 17, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Kevin S

    Here is another knee jerk reaction to a terrible atrocity that punishes every lawful gun owner and individual that enjoys shooting sports. This kind of legislation has never worked nor will it in the future. This mentally disturbed criminal did not have a fully automatic weapon. So you are basically saying that we need to go back to flintlock muskets? I doubt that will stop someone with a purpose not matter how insane or evil from doing harm. What's next once that happens, prevent training of how to use weapons? Maybe, the army should learn to just say mean words to others. Or use calm reassuring tones to prevent bad people from doing bad things. By the way, I am a man with a 6 and 4 year old and I cried when I saw this on television and promptly hugged my children and told them I loved them. I am also a gun owner over every single type of weapon that was used in this massacre. Not everyone is a crazed gunman waiting to massacre children.

    December 17, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Dusty

    When are you people that want to ban guns going to realize that the only people who will be effected by the ban will be law abiding people who own them?!!? Criminals don't care about laws, and banning guns will make no difference in the way they procure them. I own guns, hunt, target shoot regularly and have never thought about shooting other people. Unless they would try and harm me, my family, or property. You let the government ban guns, then that will be the tip of the ice burg. Just wake up and see that it will only increase the gun crime because the only people that will have them will be criminals and they won't be afraid to rob citizens at home or on the streets because they have no way to defend their selves. . "You know, all of the things that society regulates, but we can't touch guns? That's wrong." Wake up people, they just want to control all their pretty little sheep.

    December 17, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. nyresident

    Ms. Feinstein, Will this include all of the guns carried by dangerous criminals? We have this HUGE problem in our society– those damn criminals just don't seem to think the gun laws apply to them.

    December 17, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Get Educated

    My last comment here because I think most fall on deaf ears.

    I would venture to say that most who want to ban guns in the states have NEVER touched one or fired one for sport. If they had they would realize that you can be safe and have a lot of fun with them...and that they are a tool. Our greatest fears are of the unknown...pick up a gun and your fear will diminish and turn to respect.

    Lastly...to prove my point above. Most are calling magazines 'clips'. They are not clips...clips are entirely a different thing reserved for specific weapons.

    December 17, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Concerned

    Some people say "Today is not the right time to talk about gun control." I would like to know when is. How many of our children have to be shot dead before we can have this discussion?
    20 dead Children?
    30 dead children?
    100 dead children?
    1000 dead children?
    I would like to know what is that number. For me even 1 dead child is a price too high.

    December 17, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Jon

    Hahahaha! Trying to ban assault rifles in California? Your state is occupied by what? 1/5 of the population being illegal? Those closed borders have worked really well too, haven't they? Ban guns for abiding citizens and watch your crime rate explode. Criminals will always be criminals – no law will prevent them from doing so.

    December 17, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Brian, Houston TX

    REALLY??? Guns have one purpose, and one purpose only: to kill. Are you implying that fast cars are designed for that one and only purpose as well? REALLY???


    The US doesn't have speed limits over 80mph but you can still legally buy and own a 200mph capable car can't you... The question is who has the right to tell us what we should and shouldn't have. It's a fine line. Do you think communist nations started off with a giant list of things it's people could and could not have? It always starts small with good intentions then you're shredding the constitution just a little bit more and a little bit more.

    BTW by your logic a baseball bat has only one use of killing people. (please don't try to argue that caveman played baseball...They used it to club prey to death) Some people just happen to use it as a form of recreation as well. Just like guns.

    December 17, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Former GOP


    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!!!!
    Are you even a citzen of this country? You sound like a non-citizen.

    December 17, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. John "CoveyLeadr" Short

    So the best solution out there is to ban everything? TV, movies, video games, "men" like one lady wrote. Why aren't we looking at the real problem, people's reactions to the stigma of family problems, social ackwardness in children, and mental health? We are to blame for the actions of these gunmen. Our outward perception to our friends and family is guarded. Anything which may threaten that perception is hidden or ignored, until it comes to light with the sound of gunfire, the silent flight of a crossbow arrow, or the deafening sound of an explosion. If banning anything was to solve this problem it is a personal ban on our own lack of personal involvement in a troubled person's life and seeking help from professional counsel. Whatever the cost it does not outway the lost of innocent lives.

    December 17, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. futureman

    If any other nation or group we're directly or indirectly responsible for killing Americans and their or children in the hundreds of thousands that the gun dweebs have been responsible for killing in the past forty years we would as a nation go to WAR.. Let them keep their shotguns, and single shot deer rifles and six shooter pistols..these are all still infinitely more powerful than any gun our forfathers could have imagined.. But all clip loaded guns including hand guns and clip loaded rifles will be illegal in civilian hands. The penalty for breaking the law.. 3 years in prison on a first offense.. 5 years on a second, and life on a 3rd.... Let's Roll!

    December 17, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. jonathanweeston

    Violent video games and movies aren't causing ANYONE to go out and shoot people. And I love the people that would seemingly defend the 2nd Amendment to the death, but at the cost of regulating and violating the 1st Amendment rights of filmmakers and video-game producers.

    If you don't want your kids watching violent movies or video games, don't let them. Wow. You just became more personally responsible, and it didn't take a law at all to do it.

    The problem isn't violent video games and movies. The problem is a lack of mental healthcare and the level of guns that people have access to. Someone in the above comment section said that in his day kids used to bring guns into the classroom and then go shooting. Good for that guy. We don't live in that world anymore. And it has nothing to do with imaginary violence. Shakespeare had violence, for crying out loud. War movies were some of the most popular movies in the 40's and 50's, many winning Academy Awards, yet violence in schools didn't happen on a measure like this.

    Maybe because kids could get more parenting and more healthcare, due to the fact that during that time people that people so nostalgically look back on, the richest 1% paid up to 90% in taxes, and the disparity between the incomes of a CEO and regular Joe worker wasn't 50:1 like it is today. We could have stay-at-home moms for our kids, because dad made enough to support the whole family, instead of having most of his profits taken greedily by corrupt bankers and CEOs to fill their pockets with millions of dollars. The government wouldn't allow them to make such profits because they taxed them heftily.

    Nowadays, we have kids growing up with little to no supervision, and little to no healthcare, because the GOP would rather poor people stayed poor and made rich people more rich.

    December 17, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. The One

    So, which incident was an automatic weapon? Keep looking. Next up, do you like veggies? Home grown? Well, without our high capacity assault type weapons, how are we going to control the hog population destroying crops? With an already big government approach to society and wanting to control everything, how do the citizens protect themselves from a government of tyranny? Who protects those who live in the country? You should really look up Australia's gun ban, and what has happen there. Criminals do not care, they will get and have what they want. Law obeying citizens will be sitting ducks, just as a defenseless school. Think long and hard, the guns don't pull the trigger, and both incidents at Sandy Hook and the Mall were stolen guns, proving my case, criminals don't care, they will have it and use it.

    I guess you are ok with being defenseless, until something happens to you. North Hollywood Shootout was in California, after the Clinton ban, did so well with criminals.

    December 17, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. GoCanes

    to people saying why have we not heard of gun owners protecting themselves, the media does not report this. i bet you didnt know that the oregon mall incident was ended quickly because someone at the mall had concealed carry and stopped the criminal. but that wouldnt support the anti gun agenda of "dear leader" so it doesnt get reported.

    December 17, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Capn

    After you have successfully taken away ALL of the guns and assault rifles from ALL of the criminals and gang-bangers. We can re-address your assault weapon ban bill. Then we can take away all of the knives, bows & arrows, sling shots, and #2 pencils as well.

    December 17, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. The Thinker

    The ban will be in place within 90 days. Then we'll move to the next agenda item.

    December 17, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. JMS

    I am a gun owner but enough is enough. Assualt and fully automatic weapons have no place other in law enforcement or military hands. One could almost go as far to restrict semi-automatic handguns. Rarely would a private citizen need more than a revolver for self-defense. reloading a revolver would be a much more difficult task for the inexperienced and certainly limit some of the carnage in these unusual circumstances.

    December 17, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. scott

    this aint about school people. this is about the coming Martial law.

    December 17, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. stevenbeto

    What if everyone could own a firearm but no one could possess a firearm? What if firearms had to be stored at a firing range or some other location and withdrawn for use only on supervised occasions?

    December 17, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. ug

    Only this I regret is that it didn't happen to her!

    December 17, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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