The proposed legislation stops sale of more than 100 assault weapons; protects gun owners by exempting more than 900 specific hunting and sporting weapons
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), author of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004, announced on Sunday that she will introduce updated legislation early next year.
“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.”
Examples of assault weapons: n Intratec TEC-DC9 with 32-round magazine; a semi-automatic pistol formerly classified as an Assault Weapon under Federal Law.(left) and A semi-automatic Yugoslavian M70AB2 rifle. (right)
A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent 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.
A summary of key provisions in the updated bill:
- Stops 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.
- Stops the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
- grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
- exempting more than 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes; and
- exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
Presidential press spokesman Jay Carney, asked at a press briefing yesterday, about the proposed assault weapon ban. “And you said on Friday as well that the President remains committed to working to reinstate the ban on assault weapon sales. Senator Feinstein said over the weekend that she will come back from the holidays, next year, with a new Congress, and she will put forth such a proposal. Will the President and the White House support that effort and help push it?”
MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I’m not going to engage in specific point-by-point policy proposals or prescriptions. But the President, as you know, has long supported reinstating the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. And as the President has said, and I just said, this is a complex problem that requires complex and a variety of solutions. So I don’t have a specific policy outline for you today from the President. And I think it’s important to remember that this is about our gun laws and enforcing them, but it’s also about a broader series of issues, including issues of mental health and education and the like.
So the President’s position on the assault weapons ban has not changed; he still supports its reenactment. But you’ll hear from him I think, as he said last night, in the coming weeks to speak more specifically about what he thinks we can do moving forward.
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