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Feinstein: Bills to Ban Assault Weapons Will Be a Priority

The California senator tells “Meet the Press” that bills will be introduced on the first day Congress returns.

Bills to return a ban on assault weapons in the United States will be introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives on the first day they are in session next month, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed on national television last week.

“We’ve tried to take my bill from ’94 to 2004 and perfect it,” the California Democrat said on the NBC “Meet The Press” program.

Feinstein authored a federal ban on assault weapons in 1994, a ban that was allowed to expire by Congress during the George W. Bush administration. On NBC last week, Feinstein agreed with gun control proponent Michael Bloomberg, the New York mayor, who said he wants “weapons of war off the streets of our cities.”

On the NBC program, California’s senior senator said her lawyers have carefully crafted a constitutional bill that will “exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not ... fall under the bill.”

She said the 1994 assault rifle bill that she wrote was never challenged in court by the National Rifle Association.

“Back in ’93, when I told Joe Biden who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee that I was going to move this as an amendment on the Crime Bill, he laughed at me,” Feinstein said.

“He said, ‘You’re new here. Wait till you learn,’ ” Feinstein related.

“And we got it through the Senate, we got it through the House, the White House came alive and ... the bill was passed.”

Police have said the children were shot multiple times in rapid succession, but have not said if the murder weapons had been in automatic mode—illegal under current laws—or semi-automatic mode—possibly illegal under the 1994 law.

Feinstein, who just won her fourth Senate election, was propelled to the forefront of California politics when she suddenly became mayor of San Francisco when two politicians were murdered there in 1978. She has been a leading voice for gun control since then.

Feinstein’s quotes were transcribed by NBC News.

Jeffrey T. Edinger December 23, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I actually think it will do far more harm then good, I have no guns in my home and 3 children ages 5,6,and 7 I don't believe that stricter guns laws will cause less violence I think that the NRA has the most intelligent and well thought out plan by adding armed security I think our children should have the same protection if not better protection then federal buildings that use limited security and have far less fatal incidents. The chief of the NRA is being singled out for no reason. If there was an officer or two at the school during the time of the tragedy there would have been a better chance of stopping that maniac.I know a few people that own assault rifles their reason for owning them varies ,but none of their reasons consist of harming our innocent children. The people of Newtown suffered an unbelievable event a tragedy with unbearable consequence and may the children and the adults that lost their lives trying to protect them take their place with god and may the families who lost their babys not lose faith. It's difficult for me not to cry knowing what happened to those children. With that being said I support the NRA 100% we spend more money on keeping criminals behind bars then we do educating and protecting our kids the priority shouldn't be on how to ban certain types of weapons because they are already out there people buy drugs all the time and they are illegal so whats going to stop a maniac from obtaining an assualt rifle or something more dangerous.
Tim Sole December 23, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Senator Feinstein, please before you do anything else, fix the bloody budget. We elected you to fix the budget. DID I MENTION THE BUDGET!
Rose Rowe December 23, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Sign this petition because we need to convince Senator Ayotte to vote for any upcoming legislation to ban assault weapons, which she currently opposes. Tell everyone you know to sign. Thank you. http://www.change.org/petitions/kelly-ayotte-make-assault-weapons-illegal?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_created
Molli Razor December 24, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Don't listen to the gun-ban maniacs. Their irrational fantasy kills people. It is already illegal to murder people. Some how that hasn't stopped murder. Rose Rowe is just trying to get more people hurt and or killed.
Paul Duncan December 28, 2012 at 07:11 AM
This ban will do nothing to make people safer. Write your Senators to BLOCK THIS BILL. Feinstein had been on a crusade since day one and hopes to bolster her political agenda. It's sad that politicians like her use a tragedy to grab the political spotlight.
Catch A Wave January 10, 2013 at 07:46 PM
I'm proud of you Senator Feinsten. The people of California support your efforts to take on the right-wing reactionary lunatic fringe on this issue.

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