At the end of November, I wrote about leaks coming from the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) concerning her "Assault Weapons Ban" bill that she is set to introduce in the first session of the Senate in January. Many people wrote to me and commented on how this was not a gun ban on anything but certain types of rifles and that the issue of handguns was not, well, an issue. Low and behold, from the Senator's own website, this bill of hers does include handguns and additionally seeks to pick up gun owners' fingerprints.
The following is a summary of the legislation, from her own site, that she will be introducing:
- Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
- 120 specifically-named firearms
- Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one military characteristic
- Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds
- Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
- Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
- Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test
- Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans
- Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
- Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
- Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
- Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes and
- Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons
- Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
- Background check of owner and any transferee;
- Type and serial number of the firearm;
- Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
- Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
- Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration
Additionally, as you can see, the ban calls for high capacity magazines to be banned that hold over 10 rounds. This is akin to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Big Gulp" ban of drinks over 16 ounces. A person can carry as many 10 round magazines as he desires legally to inflict whatever damage he wants to. This ban does nothing to stop a person bent on criminal activity from firing as many rounds as he can carry as quickly as he likes to. It will take him less than two seconds to change the magazine.
The language about protecting "legitimate" hunters and gun owners means nothing and the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. This is simply how the left views the Second Amendment.
However, something that is alarming is that those with grandfathered weapons will have to register them under the National Firearms Act, which includes identifying you not only by photograph, but also fingerprints and obtaining certification from local law enforcement.
Last but not least, it will involve more government. Notice the last provision, "Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration." That's right, more of your tax dollars will be at work to curb the market for the weapons you want and are currently saying through the skyrocketing sales of firearms!
Feinstein also lists various studies on the website that attempts to proclaim the "effectiveness of the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban." However, there doesn't seem to be a fair comparison by any means as the studies reference shootings alone and not an escalation of other criminal activity. This is something that has to be pointed out over and over when this debate takes place.
UPDATE: The NRA points out that those of us with existing weapons that will be grandfathered in have another special surprise, I mean tax, awaiting us. The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action informs us:
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The NFA imposes a $200 tax per firearm.