Feinstein Unveils Proposed Ban on Assault Weapons

It's more sweeping than the one that expired in 2004

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 24, 2013 4:38 PM CST

(Newser) – Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein unveiled new legislation to rein in assault weapons today, reports the Washington Post. A few key points:

  • It would ban 157 types of semiautomatic weapons, including the Bushmaster variety used in the Sandy Hook rampage.
  • It would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Current owners of such weapons can keep them, but if they sell them, the prospective buyer must undergo a criminal background check.
  • The legislation would be permanent, unlike the 1994 ban that expired 10 years later. This year's bill is more comprehensive than the old one.

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 faces an "uphill road" to passage, acknowledged Feinstein, who added that the goal is to "dry up the supply of these weapons over time," reports the New York Times. And the Los Angeles Times illustrates just how uphill that road will be: It notes high in its coverage that when Feinstein started her news conference, "no Republican lawmaker was there. Nor was a red-state Democrat."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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