U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California), along with 15 Democratic cosponsors, has introduced a bill banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Similar to the 1994 assault weapon ban that expired in 2004, Sen. Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (text of bill) would ban military-style assault weapons, while imposing an additional ban on high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Specifically, Sen. Feinstein's bill would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:
- All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature including: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel. (The 1994 ban required a firearm to have at least two military features to be classified as an assault weapon.)
- All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
- All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
- All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
- All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
The bill specifically lists by brand and model number 157 rifles, handguns and shotguns that would be banned under the bill.
In addition, Sen. Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 does not include a sunset measure, like the one that allowed the 1994 ban to expire in 2004.
"Getting this bill signed into law will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that -- but it's a battle worth waging," stated Sen. Feinstein in introducing the bill. "We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style assaults weapons with the growing threat to lives across America. If 20 dead children in Newtown wasn't a wakeup call that these weapons of war don't belong on our streets, I don't know what is."
What Firearms Will Not Be Banned?
The bill includes a grandfather clause exempting any assault-type weapons legally owned at the date of the law's enactment.
However, the bill would require a Brady Act FBI background check for any sale or transfer of a grandfathered assault weapon and impose safe storage requirements on grandfathered assault weapons.
Also exempted from the law are all manually operated bolt, pump, lever or slide action firearms.
Antique firearms, as well as assault weapons used by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement personnel are also exempted.
The bill also authorizes the states to use already set aside federal funds to sponsor local police buy-back programs for grandfathered assault weapons.
Along with the firearms to be banned, the bill specifically lists 2,258 hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns that will be exempted from the ban.
"I believe this bill is a big step toward ending the mass shootings that have devastated families across the country--from Newtown to Aurora, from Tucson to Virginia Tech, from Columbine to Oak Creek," Feinstein added. "It's time for Americans to stand up and tell the gun manufacturers that the lives of our children are more important than their profits and get these dangerous weapons out of our schools, our workplaces, our malls and our theaters. It's time to take action, and we'll get it done, not matter how long it takes."