Feinstein to introduce updated assault weapons bill in new Congress
Would stop sale of more than 100 assault weapons, yet protect gun owners
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), author of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004, announced this week that she will introduce updated legislation early next year to stop the sale of assault weapons and ammunition.
Her move comes after 26 individuals, including 20 elementary school children, were killed by a lone gunman Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn. Among his weapons, the gunman used an assault rifle.
"On the first day of the new Congress, I intend to introduce a bill stopping the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons as well as large ammunition magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds," Feinstein said. "I am in the process of gathering support for the bill in the Senate and House."
"I have been working with my staff for over a year on this legislation," Feinstein added. "It will be carefully focused on the most dangerous guns that have killed so many people over the years while protecting the rights of gun owners by exempting hundreds of weapons that fall outside the bill's scope. We must take these dangerous weapons of war off our streets."
A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban contributed to a 6.7% decline in total gun murders. However, since the 2004 expiration of the bill, assault weapons have been used in at least 459 incidents, resulting in 385 deaths and 455 injuries.
Feinstein's bill would stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of more than 100 specifically-named firearms as well as certain semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
It would also stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
Feinstein said the bill would protect legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment. Her bill would also exempt more than 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes, and exempt antique, manually-operated and permanently disabled weapons.