Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban bill
(CNN) — Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Sunday the president will soon have legislation “to lead on” in the gun control debate, announcing she will introduce a bill next month in the Senate to place a ban on assault weapons.
“We’ll be prepared to go, and I hope the nation will really help,” Feinstein said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The senator said she’ll introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and the same legislation will also be proposed in the House of Representatives.
“We’re crafting this one. It’s being done with care. It’ll be ready on the first day,” she said, adding that she’ll soon announce the House authors.
“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets,” she said. “There will be a bill.”
Gun rights legislation has gained renewed attention since Friday’s deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 students and six adults dead.
Many lawmakers and politicians have called for stricter gun control laws at the federal level, including a revisit to the 1994 former assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 but has yet to be reinstated.
Feinstein, who helped champion the 1994 legislation, said she and her staff have looked at the initial bill and tried to “perfect it.”
“We believe we have (perfected it). We exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not fall under the bill, but the purpose of this bill is to get … ‘weapons of war’ off the street of our cities,” she said.
The senator added she believes President Barack Obama will support the legislation. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama said he would support such a ban, but he has been criticized for failing to work toward tighter gun control laws since taking office.
After Friday’s shooting, however, the president signaled a change in policy could soon be in place.
“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday, echoing remarks he made Friday after the tragedy.
Feinstein on Sunday praised the assault weapons ban of 1994 for surviving its entire 10-year term and predicted a successful future for her upcoming bill.
“I believe this will be sustained as well,” she added. “You know, all of the things that society regulates, but we can’t touch guns? That’s wrong.”
By Ashley Killough, CNN.