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. DogHaus

    Sensible controls – not outright ban – is what is needed. Unfortunately the inflexibility of the NRA and it's ownership of GOP congressmen push the liberal wing to extreme legislation. Will we ever get back to reasonableness??

    December 16, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Good luck getting my guns I only have seven assult rifles. I think I might have to get more. Served in Iraq and understand that you cannot protect your home with a handgun. I saw the Iraqis try and we blew their heads off. I'll take my thirty against your knife. I dont have and crazy ideas but hate that people still dont take responsibility. California is the worst state to live in if you are responsible. My only remark on gun control is hold your weapon steady and fire. The only comprimise make people wait for their purchase and they must attend a class of some sort.

    December 16, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. david brigner

    An attack on the constitution specifically the right to bear arms in defense of tyranny from our government would surely draw much needed attention from high ranking military oath takers. The military would not stand idle as the people are stripped of liberty in the name of safety. I have faith that the politicians would take this into consideration while squandering more time on how to deal with a fiscal cliff. Attention as far as the mass school shooting should be focused on arming and training school administration and staff to stop the massacres in their tracks.

    December 16, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. TomCom

    This is nonsense.I say we need less regulation. If those 6 and 7 year old kids carried guns this would of not happened.

    December 16, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Lisa

    I am starting to believe mostgun owners are crazy...how many malls do you hear about, being blown up? how many mass murders are being committed, by using a knife? we are tired of living in fear, we are tied of are family members getting gun down...we are tired of seeing parents burying children over senseless acts of violence... we are tired of, we can't do simple every day things, like go to a movie, a mall, school, job, ect,,, without fear.. we are tired!!!!!

    December 16, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Mark

    And so it begins. Restrict the law abiding people their constitutional rights, slowly, but surely, and then watch what happens. These are the same people that are giving illegal immigrants a free ride at the cost to us. Are you REALLY going to trust these same people with your right to fight back when they get to big for themselves? Anyone remember the civil war? The revolutionary war? Until the government, state or federal, can prove in even a small amount that they can keep the bad people at bay and away from us, that they are working for us instead of themselves, you'll only get my weapons "from my cold dead hands."

    December 16, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I love guns good luck getting mine. I live in Texas and we have Rick Perry. I think all you anti gun control people need to take your PC attitudes and Christmas hating views and move to california. When you get there jump up and down and maybe cali will finally fall off in to the ocean.

    December 16, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. michael

    I have been a concealed carrier of weapons and hold a licensce for a class 3 weapon and have owned a firearm since I was 10 years old and have always been responsible about keeping my guns in a firearm safe. I honestly believe any laws that are passed to ban honest law abiding citizens from ownership of these kind of weaponsis a travesty of justice.there are a lot of people just like myself that are involved in the shooting sports beyond just the hunting aspect.we are target shooters, plinkers, CMP (civilian marksmanship program) members just to name a few. It has been proven time and again that criminals by nature are lawbreakers and you can pass all the laws you want but they are not going to abide by said laws. Please think carefully about the actions that are preposed because a right taken away is one that will never return. I don't believe we should be punished for the actions of a select few mentally unstable individuals. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in this heated debate instead of a knee jerk reaction by a group of politians whose agenda has been to systamatly disarm our society via an ever increasing amount of unfair restriction of ownership.

    December 16, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. nonyabidnes2

    " Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill", sonds great. How about you resolve the fiscal cliff first?

    December 16, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. BHirsh

    Senator, the answer was "No." the last time you asked, and the answer will continue to be "No."

    First of all, since Heller set the individual right to arms under the original meaning of the Second Amendment into precedent, citing U.S. v. Miller's two-pronged test as to what arms are "protected", your legislation is a fail from jumpstreet. According to the Miller test, arms that "are in common use" and that "bear some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia" are precisely those you can't fool with.

    It ain't 1994 anymore, baby.

    December 16, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Joe Johnson

    The attacker didn't even use the rifle, he used 2 handguns. A rifle is as big and obvious as a shotgun and the bullets are smaller than a hand gun. It has more velocity from the extra powder, but the only reason they are used in combat, is because a soldier has an automatic version, and can carry lots of small and light ammo. Civilians don't have the automatic benefits, which makes an AR15 basically just a Toyota Corolla with a Ferrari frame over it...

    December 16, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Paul

    So many people saying "Why do you NEED so many guns?" or "Why do you NEED an assault weapon?"

    Truthfully, there isn't a "need" for those kinds of weapons.

    Just like there's no "need" to own a motorized vehicle that will do more than 80mph...but that doesn't mean that I would prevent someone who wanted a fast car from getting one. Same can be said for houses greater than 1500sq ft, iPhones, etc.

    Just because you may not think somebody "needs" something doesn't mean that they shouldn't have it...

    December 16, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. jpeagle21

    Typical democrat strategy. Never let a tragedy go to waste. Shame on them.

    December 16, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Daniel

    Want to know what's funny: I was raised on video games and yet I decided to become a Firefighter to help people in their times of need, and for kids to have something to look up too.

    Blaming video games equates to ignorance.

    December 16, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Joan Wheeler

    I hope Sen. Feinstein reads these comments. I support the ban on assault weapons 100%. It should never have been allowed to expire, but it did thanks to the NRA and its friends. The blood of those 20 Connecticut children is on their hands! Regular people do not need semi-automatic weapons. Teenagers do not need any weapons at all. Further, I believe the law should mandate life in prison without parole for anyone convicted of any crime using a gun. That puts the onus on the crime and off the gun answering the NRA pathetic shriek that guns don't kill people, people kill people. This slogan should more rationally read: "Guns don't kill people; people with guns kill people." And there's more: establish legislation that mandates that guns be registered just like cars are registered (with their serial numbers) with local police departments and a national database be created to track ownership. When a gun is sold, it must be re-registered to the new owner. With mandatory background checks - updated annually - for all owners. These laws should help reduce the number of killer weapons on the street and go a long way to keeping automatic weapons out of the hands of the crazies and teen-age boys having temper tantrums.

    December 16, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. rofl

    haha, bring it. you will change nothing.

    December 16, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Quiet

    To the gentleman with 7 guns and served in Iraq. You of all people should know better. I have 1 gun but was used to used to settle with my fist growing up in Chicago. I plan on crushing the gun. If someone threatens my family, I will use my fist. I haven't had the gun but 4 or 5 months. Don't need it. To all the males out there. Try using your manhood going forward instead of hiding behind a gun

    December 16, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Smeagel4T

    Just watch how many NRA bribed legislators come up with lame excuses why this ban is not necessary. If the news media did its job, they'd include in all articles that mention a legislator's comments how much money they've taken from the NRA. The NRA is nothing but the lobbying arm of the gun industry. Their only true objective is prompting gun sales.

    December 16, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. RealGlaird

    Would someone please ask Ms. Feinstein about the .357 Magnum that she always carries in her purse, ever since her days as Mayor of San Francisco.

    December 16, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. nope

    For everyone claiming that banning guns is the solution to solving the problem of violent crime in the United States, I urge you to actually take a moment and analyze the FBI crime statistics. If what you care about is what you state "stopping violent crime", then a cursory review of the statistics will show you that while banning guns will not solve the lion's share of the problem, banning of black people would. Now do you see how absurd your position is? You have an anti-gun agenda, not a pro-safety agenda. If you were in fact pro-safety you would be advocating for a platform that would do the maximal amount of safety increasing. Be honest with yourselves and everyone else. You have an irrational fear and hatred of guns.

    December 16, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Wes, CA

    The only gun control proposal that would prevent a mass shooting would be for the government to ban and then confiscate every single gun in the USA. And that will never happen.
    This guy stole the guns he used! No law will stop him.
    I'm not Hitler because I want to own an AR 15. This entire econmy runs on things people "don't need". If I want a semi-auto firearm for fun and recreation, who are you to say I don't need it.
    Thank God the Rupublicans hold the house.

    December 16, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. roadrunner

    I would also suggest that each gun owner should carry a gun insurance, so that in the event their gun cause damages on innocent people, these victims will at least have some assistance.

    December 16, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. tonyh110

    to Quiet: and I suppose women need just lie back and accept it when some 250# muscle dude decides she's fair game. Some men even are not born with the build to defend against agressors hence the name for Samuel Colts 45 – the peacemaker or equalizer. Millions of US citizens own use and enjoy guns responsibly – concentrate on the criminals not law abiding citizens

    December 16, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let's face it, the Founding Fathers were NO heroes whatsoever. When a nation or in our case, a colony is concerned with its sovereignty or independence, what you do is form a legitimate militia or army to bear arms to defend and preserve your sovereignty or independence. But when you make it legal for all citizens to bear arms to do the job of a state or colony, that is a recepie for disaster and unfortunately that is what happened to these young children and school faculty in Connecticut. Again, the Founding Fathers were NO heroes whatsoever.

    December 16, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Sei

    The second amendment provides for a "well-regulated" militia of citizens. Well, in the words of another internet poster, let's regulate the crap out of guns! Most guns are barely regulated at all. Every bullet should be traceable, every gun should be direct from the manufacturer to the owner, every gun should require a license, and every gun should be subject to regular inspection. We regulate cars more than we regulate guns, even though guns have only one purpose – to kill.

    December 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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