Feinstein To Introduce New Assault Arms Ban

  on December 16 2012 1:27 PM

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reacting to the Connecticut school massacre, said Sunday she will introduce a gun control bill on the first day of the next Congress.

Paired with a twin version in the House, Feinstein's measure would limit the sale, transfer and possession of so-called assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.

"It can be done," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." The senator, long a gun control advocate, said she expected President Barack Obama to endorse her effort.

“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.”

A federal ban on assault weapons, first passed in 1994 and signed by President Bill Clinton, expired in 2004. Obama has said he favors reinstating it, but did little to move the issue during his first term.

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.

"It's time for the president to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, also on “Meet the Press.” "This should be his No. 1 agenda."

Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the deputy majority leader, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also promised to raise the issue in the new Congress.

“We need to sit down and have a quiet and calm conversation on the Second Amendment,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said the debate has so far been dominated by national gun lobbies (i.e. the National Rifle Association) “that have agendas.” But he thinks the mass shooting could finally result in more strict laws.

“I think what happened might at least lead some to sit down” and talk, Durbin said.

Blumenthal said he would not discuss specifics while the nation still grieves the slaughter in his home state but said he intends to talk about gun control on the Senate floor as early as this week.

“We need to do something,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, agreed that all parties must come together and have an “open-minded” conversation.

But he maintained his position that gun ownership is a constitutional right that protects Americans.

“I wish to God [the school principal] had a gun locked up her office” so she could have taken off the shooter’s head, Gohmert said on Fox.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reacting to the Connecticut school massacre, said Sunday she will introduce a gun control bill on the first day of the next Congress.

Paired with a twin version in the House, Feinstein's measure would limit the sale, transfer and possession of so-called assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.

"It can be done," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." The senator, long a gun control advocate, said she expected President Barack Obama to endorse her effort.

A federal ban on assault weapons, first passed in 1994 and signed by President Bill Clinton, expired in 2004. Obama has said he favors reinstating it, but did little to move the issue during his first term.

"It's time for the president to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, also on “Meet the Press.” "This should be his No. 1 agenda."

Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the deputy majority leader, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also promised to raise the issue in the new Congress.

“We need to sit down and have a quiet and calm conversation on the Second Amendment,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said the debate has so far been dominated by national gun lobbies (i.e. the National Rifle Association) “that have agendas.” But he thinks the mass shooting could finally result in more strict laws.

“I think what happened might at least lead some to sit down” and talk, Durbin said.

Blumenthal said he would not discuss specifics while the nation still grieves the slaughter in his home state but said he intends to talk about gun control on the Senate floor as early as this week.

“We need to do something,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, agreed that all parties must come together and have an “open-minded” conversation.

But he maintained his position that gun ownership is a constitutional right that protects Americans.

“I wish to God [the school principal] had a gun locked up her office” so she could have taken off the shooter’s head, Gohmert said on Fox.

Bloomberg -- whose group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is becoming increasingly vocal about the issue -- also dismissed the notion that the NRA remains powerful enough to defeat tighter regulations.

“The NRA’s No. 1 objective was to defeat Barack Obama, and he won comfortable,” he said. “And it’s a myth that the NRA is so powerful that Democrats [who voted for the 2004 ban] lost re-election.”

There are indications that some of the most commonly discussed measures to rein in weapons enjoy some degree of public support. An August CNN/ORC poll, conducted soon after the Colorado and Wisconsin shootings, found varying levels of public support for different gun control proposals. Fifty-seven percent of adults, for instance, said they favored a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of assault weapons, and 60 percent said they supported a ban on the possession of high-capacity ammunition clips.

 

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