The Gun Control Debate Continues
December 31, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Last week, there was a huge amount of media coverage of the gun-control debate that has gripped the Nation in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. The emotionally charged national conversation has been chock full of harsh knee-jerk gun control proposals from the left.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced recently that she will introduce legislation early in 2013 that will essentially criminalize millions of law-abiding American gun owners.
A summary of the legislation posted on the Senator’s website is as follows:
- 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 or more military characteristics; and
- 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; and
- 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.
Feinstein, who co-introduced the original assault weapons ban in 1994, is “going for broke” with her 2012 version, according to the National Rifle Association. The bill would classify three rifles that are decades old and extremely popular throughout the Nation as assault rifles: the M1 Carbine, a model of the Ruger Mini-14 and virtually any variation of the SKS.
The bill would ban any firearm with a fixed magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds (except for tubular-magazine .22s), threaded barrels on handguns and any semiautomatic, centerfire or rimfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
The NRA points out that Feinstein’s bill would also open the possibility of government prosecution of firearm enthusiasts who don’t even break her harsh anti-2nd Amendment law:
Whereas the 1994 ban protected gun owners from errant prosecution by making the government prove when a magazine was made, the new ban includes no such protection. The new ban also requires firearm dealers to certify the date of manufacture of any >10-round magazine sold, a virtually impossible task, given that virtually no magazines are stamped with their date of manufacture.
The bill would not immediately lead to government confiscation of semi-automatics considered by her definition as assault weapons, but would require owners to register the firearms with the Federal government by submitting photographs and fingerprints to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), informing the ATF of the address where the firearm will be kept and obtaining the ATF’s permission to transport the firearm across State lines. It would also impose a $200 per firearm tax.
In the end, however, Feinstein wants ultimate confiscation of any firearm she and other 2nd Amendment haters deem too dangerous for Americans. Owners of so-called assault rifles would not be permitted to pass them on to loved ones after death, the point at which the Federal government would confiscate the firearms.