Sen. Dianne Feinstein Reintroduces Assault Weapons Ban Legislation

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Senator Dianne Feinstein re-introduced an assault weapon ban in Congress last week. The bill was co-sponsored by 22 other Democratic Senators with no Republicans supporting the ban. The bill would ban the sale and possession of military style assault weapons. 

With two major mass shootings in the last two months, Feinstein said that such a ban was long overdue. 

“We’re introducing an updated Assault Weapons Ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote.

The California senator first authored the original assault weapons ban that was passed in 1994, but it was not reauthorized by Congress and it lapsed in 2004. 

Feinstein admitted that even a ban on assault style weapons, they wouldn't be able to stop every mass shooting. 

“This bill won’t stop every mass shooting, but it will begin removing these weapons of war from our streets. The first Assault Weapons Ban was just starting to show an effect when the NRA stymied its reauthorization in 2004. Yes, it will be a long process to reduce the massive supply of these assault weapons in our country, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

The ban would include over 200 different military-style assault rifles, including the AR-15 which has been used by several mass shooters. The bill also bans any assault weapon that could use a detachable magazine, or other military characteristics. Bump stocks, a device that enables a semi-automatic weapon to fire at the same rate as automatics would also be made illegal. 

It's likely that Feinstein knows there's little hope of her ban moving through the Republica-controlled Senate, but that's not stopping her from trying. 

“To those who say now isn’t the time, they’re right—we should have extended the original ban 13 years ago, before hundreds more Americans were murdered with these weapons of war. To my colleagues in Congress, I say do your job."

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