Breaking Down Sen. Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban

by Admin on January 25, 2013

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein unveiled legislation meant to “dry up the supply” of assault weapons in the country. The bill is already receiving pushback from opponents in the Senate and gun advocacy groups  like the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The proposed legislation is similar to the one on the books from 1994 to 2004, which Feinstein also authored. One of the major differences is that it imposes stricter definitions on what an “assault weapon” is, and makes the manufacturing and sale of new ones illegal. The legislation grandfathers in all existing, legally-owned assault weapons. According to the new bill, the gunowner can sell his or her current assault weapon, but the transferee must undergo a strict background check carried out by only the FBI or a state-level agency.

012513_Bushmaster Gun Assault Weapons_madrigar

Feinstein’s legislation restricts guns based on their features. The previous ban defined an assault weapon as one that had at least two military features; the new law defines it as having at least one. What’s considered a military feature? “a pistol grip; forward grip, folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.”

Feinstein’s legislation would ban more than 150 weapons by name as well as ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds (termed “high-capacity” feeding devices).  For these devices, existing ones are legal, but the bill would prohibit further sale or transfer. The bill also calls for bulk purchases of ammunition to be reported to authorities.

Chaninat and Leeds attorneys are Bangkok Criminal Lawyers specializing in Thai criminal cases involving foreigners.

Feinstain says the bill’s passage will depend upon the American public.

“If anyone asked today can you win this, the answer is we don’t know, it’s so uphill,” Feinstein said. “We can win this, but it depends on America and it depends on the courage of Americans.”

In response to Feinstein’s emotional roll out of the bill, which included remarks from victims of the Sandy Hook massacre, the NRA released a statement expressing disappointment that Feinstein chose strict gun control measures over prosecuting criminals or addressing the broken mental health system.

Considering no Republican nor red-state Democrat was present for her unveiling, it’s presumed the bill’s battle will be more than just “uphill.” We’re thinking uphill, over a heavily-laden mine field and then across piranha-infested waters.


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Flickr photo courtesy of madrigar

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