Feinsteins Assault Weapon Ban

So here is a summary of the so called Assault Weapons Ban introduced by Dianne Feinstein in the Senate today (from her site here) :

Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

Mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have demonstrated all too clearly the need to regulate military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. These weapons allow a gunman to fire a large number of rounds quickly and without having to reload.

What the bill does:

The legislation bans the saletransfermanufacturing and importation of:

  • All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
  • 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.
  • 157 specifically-named firearms (listed at the end of this page).

The legislation excludes the following weapons from the bill:

  • Any weapon that is lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment;
  • Any firearm manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever or slide action;
  • Assault weapons used by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement; and
  • Antique weapons.

The legislation protects hunting and sporting firearms:

  • The bill excludes 2,258 legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns by specific make and model.

The legislation strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and state bans by:

  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test.
    • The bill also makes the ban harder to evade by eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test.
  • Banning dangerous aftermarket modifications and workarounds.
    • Bump or slide fire stocks, which are modified stocks that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire at rates similar to fully automatic machine guns.
    • So-called “bullet buttons” that allow the rapid replacement of ammunition magazines, frequently used as a workaround to prohibitions on detachable magazines.
    • Thumbhole stocks, a type of stock that was created as a workaround to avoid prohibitions on pistol grips.
  • Adding a ban on the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
  • Eliminating the 10-year sunset that allowed the original federal ban to expire.

The legislation addresses the millions of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines currently in existence by:

  • Requiring a background check on all sales or transfers of a grandfathered assault weapon.
    • This background check can be run through the FBI or, if a state chooses, initiated with a state agency, as with the existing background check system.
  • Prohibiting the sale or transfer of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the bill.
  • Allowing states and localities to use federal Byrne JAG grant funds to conduct a voluntary buy-back program for grandfathered assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
  • Imposing a safe storage requirement for grandfathered firearms, to keep them away from prohibited persons.
  • Requiring that assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured after the date of the bill’s enactment be engraved with the serial number and date of manufacture of the weapon

Assault weapon bans have been proven to be effective

The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was effective at reducing crime and getting these military-style weapons off our streets. Since the ban expired, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 450 injured by these weapons.

  • A Justice Department study of the assault weapons ban found that it was responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal.
    • Source: Jeffrey A. Roth & Christopher S. Koper, “Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994,” (March 1997).
  • The same study also found that “Assault weapons are disproportionately involved in murders with multiple victims, multiple wounds per victim, and police officers as victims.”
  • The use of assault weapons in crime declined by more than two-thirds by about nine years after 1994 Assault Weapons Ban took effect.
    • Source: Christopher S. Koper, “An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003” (June 2004), University of Pennsylvania, Report to the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The percentage of firearms seized by police in Virginia that had high-capacity magazines dropped significantly during the ban. That figure has doubled since the ban expired.
  • When Maryland imposed a more stringent ban on assault pistols and high-capacity magazines in 1994, it led to a 55% drop in assault pistols recovered by the Baltimore Police Department.
    • Source: Douglas S. Weil & Rebecca C. Knox, Letter to the Editor, The Maryland Ban on the Sale of Assault Pistols and High-Capacity Magazines: Estimating the Impact in Baltimore, 87 Am. J. of Public Health 2, Feb. 1997.
  • 37% of police departments reported seeing a noticeable increase in criminals’ use of assault weapons since the 1994 federal ban expired.
    • Source: Police Executive Research Forum, Guns and Crime: Breaking New Ground by Focusing on the Local Impact (May 2010).

List of firearms prohibited by name

Rifles: All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS; All AR types, including the following: AR–10, AR–15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15–T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR–70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R–15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR–15, Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles; Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1; Beretta CX4 Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000; Feather Industries AT–9; Galil Model AR and Model ARM; Hi-Point Carbine; HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1 and HK USC; Kel-Tec Sub–2000, SU–16, and RFB; SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer SG 551; Springfield Armory SAR–48; Steyr AUG; Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M–14/20CF; All Thompson rifles, including the following: Thompson M1SB, Thompson T1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B, Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson T1–C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D, Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C; UMAREX UZI Rifle; UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine; Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78; Vector Arms UZI Type; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.

Pistols: All AK–47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol, Draco AK–47 pistol, HCR AK–47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol, Krinkov pistol, Mini Draco AK–47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol; All AR–15 types, including the following: American Spirit AR–15 pistol, Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR–15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol; Calico Liberty pistols; DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol; Encom MP–9 and MP–45; Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol; Intratec AB–10, TEC–22 Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9; Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol; The following MAC types: MAC–10, MAC–11; Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol; Military Armament Corp. Ingram M–11, Velocity Arms VMAC; Sig Sauer P556 pistol; Sites Spectre; All Thompson types, including the following: Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5; All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI.

Shotguns: Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12; All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following:IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S, IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika; Streetsweeper; Striker 12.

Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms: All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms including TNW M2HB.

I’ve got to say I have mixed feelings about it at best. And think it has virtually zero chance of passing into law.

And I think a major problem with it is the “we need to ban these things” mentality versus the “We need to heavily regulate these things” mentality.

So, Let’s be honest here. The vast majority of people interested in these guns are not a problem. Yes- the very nature of the guns themselves pose serious and very real risks in the wrong hands. But if a ban is constiutional then so is very heavy handed regulation.

And of course several aspects of Feinsteins proposal are simply closing the workarounds gun manufacturers have found to Californias ban. Which will simply happen again. No law will ever be perfect- and there is a lot of money at stake, and a lot of creative people who will work to ensure they have a market.

There are many people who for various reasons balk at outright bans. But many of these people will accept, if not outright support sensible legislation to regulate.

So I would argue regulation is where we should be investing our energy.

First of all- closing the so called gun show loophole. ALL firearm sales should require a background check. Simply common sense and a move supported by the vast majority of americans- including most gun owners.

ID requirement for ammunition sales- with the information submitted to authorities. Let’s face it. Just because someone legally bought a gun ten years ago does not mean they are still legally elgible to possess a weapon. We need some sort of system to ensure that those who are not legally elgible to own a gun don’t have one.

Strict limits, and strict enforcement on the number of guns purchased. As well as strong powers to investigate gun dealers selling unusually large numbers of weapons. The vast majority of guns used in crime- guns that make their way “to the street” or to mexican cartels, originate with a small handful of gun stores, and a small numer of “straw men” who regularly purchase several guns legally, often weekly if not daily, and then move them across state or national borders at a high markup and without any form of background check on their resale. Both the stores and the straw men no damn well what they are doing- and should be held accountable. They are knowingly conspiring in violence and murder- and should be treated as such.

Explicitly restore funding to the CDC for research on gun violence, and explicitly take steps to ensure the sharing of information from law enforcement with researchers. The latter of which Obama took some steps toward with his executive orders, but which should be formally codified into law by act of congress.

In 1986, under the great republican idol Ronald Reagan we “banned” fully automatic weapons. With some language similar to the current proposal. And it was highly effective. (I can think of only one case since where a legally purchased fully automatic weapon was used in a crime). But it allowed states to make up their own rules. Yes- you needed to obtain a federal license- with stricter background checks then for normal gun ownership. And states could enact their own laws on top of that- from outright bans to Oregons system where you needed approval from your local sheriff. Sensible policiies. Eliminating the glut of these weapons on the market but still allowing options for responsible ownership.

Federal standards for concealed carry. States being free to mandate stricter laws. As it stands now many states require only only a background check. Or minimal NRA created or administered training. WhileI do not believe concealed carry is a major problem in this country (and maybe it’s the roadblocks to daya being available that I think this) I do not believe the current system is sufficient to have citizens carrying arms in public.

Laws to allow citizens and the police to challenge gun ownership by individuals. A weakness I am initmately familiar with. There are many, many people who can easily pass the current background check but are not people that should be armed. Family members, neighbors, and local police are often best suited to judge this. But at present that are completely powerless to do anything. This needs to change.

I am sure there are other good proposals- but I will leave it at this for now. I am not a gun control zealot. I grew up with guns. I have owned or fired everything from 18th century guns to belt fed heavy automatic weapons. And some years ago I decided to sell- to a licensed dealer, all my guns. I do not live in fear. And believe that guns in the home are for more likely to end in tragedy then the extremely remote chance of being used for protection. I would rather die at the hands of a robber then have my weapon be one of the stastics that show it is far more likely to kill myself, a family member, or a friend.


About drugsandotherthings

I am a criminal. Because I have used cannabis and psychedelics extensively. I have tried many other drugs, but never cared for the uppers, downers, or dissociatives. I love craft beer, and absinthe, but don't care much for alcohols effects- which quite frankly, are boring and dangerous. Science is my religion. I am in my 40's, and have travelled extensively. And often forced myself outside of my confort zone. I am employed, a respected member of my communtiy, an animal lover, an environmentalist, a political junkie, and the realities I have experienced continue to push me further to the left of the political spectrum.
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2 Responses to Feinsteins Assault Weapon Ban

  1. iamforchange says:

    A very informative post thank you for sharing it, I like your closing paragraphs and as I have been touched by the tragedy of guns in the home I have to agree it is far more common to hear of deaths of family members and friends than being shot by a robber. Suicide is one of the most tragic and perhaps all violent gun crimes are related by mental health issues. Perhaps if the legislators were to institute some form of psychological testing requirement for current and future gun owners we could make some progress on many fronts in the gun battle. No logical or responsible citizen wants to see an emotionally or mentally challenged citizen with access to a firearm. Especially a loved family member or friend. Why would anyone have objection to such legislation unless perhaps they were afraid they wouldn’t pass the test. Just my thought and my Kudo’s to your blog as well as your person. Thank you… 🙂

    • Indeed. The last study by the CDC- the one that got the NRA and their lapdogs in a rage and ended funding for research in the matter found guns in the home had little effect for protection but raised the risk 3 fold for a family member being killed.

      Thankfully- Obama’s EO’s should remove this blockade of research. Facts and information can do much to change assumptions- though it will be to late for this round of discussions.

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