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Feinstein-Cicilline AWB Legislation: ‘Treason’ Say Gun Activists

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Anti-gun California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has introduced a new bill to ban so-called “assault weapons.” (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( As House Democrats, joined by eight Republicans, were passing two background check bills, anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) were introducing legislation to ban so-called “assault weapons,” fulfilling with lightning speed a prediction from national gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb.

Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Gottlieb said House passage of the extremist background check measures would “open the pathway” for even worse legislation. While his remarks were aimed at Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s H.R. 127—mandating gun owner licensing, registration, psychological examination, mandatory gun-owner insurance, and prison for non-compliance—he could just as easily been talking about Feinstein’s long-sought ban. CCRKBA is currently running a nationwide TV campaign to warn gun owners about this legislation.

Taking to social media, New Jersey attorney and rights advocate Evan Nappen wrote that the 35 people signing onto Feinstein’s legislation were “Oath-Breakers, Rights-Takers, Gun Bigots, Liberty-Haters, Bought & Owned by Bloomturd (and) Pearl-Clutchers.”

Nappen was alluding to Feinstein and her co-sponsors: Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

Those agreeing with Nappen’s premise accused backers of the bills of “treason.”

According to Fox News, Feinstein noted in her introductory statement, “It’s been 17 years since the original Assault Weapons Ban expired. To be clear, this bill saves lives. When it was in place from 1994-2004, gun massacres declined by 37 percent compared with the decade before. After the ban expired, the number of massacres rose by 183 percent. We’re now seeing a rise in domestic terrorism, and military-style assault weapons are increasingly becoming the guns of choice for these dangerous groups. I’m hopeful that with the new administration and Democratic control of the Senate, we can finally pass commonsense gun reforms to remove these deadly weapons from our communities.”

Cicilline chimed in, “Assault weapons are designed for a single purpose – to kill as many people as possible in as short an amount of time as possible. That’s why they are the weapon of choice for mass shooters and domestic terrorists. They are weapons of war and do not belong in our communities. Banning these weapons will make our cities and towns safer and more secure and help to reduce gun deaths.”

Feinstein’s announcement included a list of key provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans any assault weapon with the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Right upfront in Feinstein’s bill there is this notation: “To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.” (Emphasis added.)

You read that right. This legislation acknowledges it designed to limit the right to keep and bear arms. The legislation may be read here.

More than 2,200 firearms are exempted by name. They are apparently acceptable firearms for “hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.”

But what about for carry outside the home for self-defense? Maybe Capitol Hill anti-gunners are leaving that to the states. In Washington State, for example, a House hearing is slated this Tuesday on S.B. 5038, a bill aimed at criminalizing open carry at public rallies, especially at the state Capitol in Olympia.

According to an email alert from the National Rifle Association, “This horrible piece of legislation would prevent you from open carrying any firearms or other weapons at any public demonstrations or even our state Capitol, a clear violation of your 2nd Amendment rights.

“But…it gets worse. This bill extends liability to anyone within 250 feet of the protest, regardless of on foot or in a personal vehicle. This legislation would only hurt legal gun owners.”

The hearing before the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 16. The NRA has provided a way to send a message to the committee by clicking here.

It is not clear how much traction the Feinstein-Cicilline ban legislation will gather, but it provides more evidence that a) When Democrats have a majority they move swiftly to ratchet down on gun rights, and b) Elections matter.

However, the New York Post noted in its report, “The bill…faces long odds in the evenly split Senate, where 60 votes usually are required for bills. A companion bill introduced in the Democrat-held House by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) could have a better chance in the lower chamber.”

The Post story noted something else that should, but probably won’t, give Congressional anti-gunners pause: “Proposals to ban guns typically result in gun owners rushing to buy more of them.”


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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