By Greg Campbell
It appears that the Democrats’ journey for the Great Gun Grab of 2013 has officially commenced as Senator Dianne Feinstein, the original architect of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, announced the unveiling of her proposed “assault weapons” ban on Capitol Hill yesterday.
According to The Washington Free Beacon,
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) laid out the conditions of her proposed assault weapons ban Thursday, saying it would prohibit 158 specifically named military-style firearms.
‘The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time,’ Feinstein said. ‘Therefore, there is no sunset on this bill.’
Feinstein said the bill prohibits the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that can accept more than ten rounds, but said it would not affect hunting or sporting firearms.
‘Instead, the bill protects hunters and sportsmen by protecting 2,200 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes,’ she said. ‘They are by make and model exempted from the legislation … Finally, the bill subjects existing or grandfathered weapons to a background check in the event the weapon is sold or transferred … We have tried to recognize legal hunting rights. We have tried to recognize legal defense rights. We have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon. No weapon is taken from anyone.’”
However, the bill has received harsh criticism from the right and the left for the bill’s sweeping implications and grab towards guns that could not logically be called an “assault weapon” by any measure.
The bill bans rifles, handguns and shotguns and is tremendously detailed in its scope of guns prohibited. It has been widely claimed that Feinstein and other anti-gun-rights advocates have not an interest in banning what the left calls “assault weapons,” but that the anti-gun-rights camp has, as a bigger goal, the long-term banning of almost all guns, including those used for self-defense and sporting.
After Feinstein’s announcement, the NRA provided a response.
“Senator Feinstein has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades. It’s disappointing but not surprising that she is once again focused on curtailing the Constitution instead of prosecuting criminals or fixing our broken mental health system. The American people know gun bans do not work and we are confident Congress will reject Senator Feinstein’s wrong-headed approach”
The 1994 ban had a sunset clause that allowed the bill to expire at the end of ten years. In 2004, the bill was allowed to expire and any calls for the renewal of the ban never gained much traction as the ban had been seen to be widely ineffective in diminishing crime stats. Now, in the aftermath of several high-profile shootings, the left has called for a variety of extreme gun control measures that have created a volatile political environment between the gun control camp and the gun rights camp.
Feinstein’s new call for an “assault weapons” ban will likely face uphill challenges as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, though liberal on many issues, has received a “B” from the NRA and has maintained a fairly staunch pro-gun-rights stance. Furthermore, the American people are on edge and any sweeping gun ban may provoke strong opposition across the country and angry voters who would remember in 2014, when Congressional leaders would be up for re-election.