Assault Weapons Ban 2013: Introduced, Prospects Uncertain

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The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 was introduced by Democrats in U.S. Congress today, but its prospects for passage look marginal at best.

The law would reinstate the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, with some adjustments designed to make it even more restrictive.

Assault Weapons

The 2013 ban would outlaw assault weapons as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines; it also wouldn't have a 10-year expiration date.

Ted Nugent and millions of others are no doubt fuming at the prospect.

"Today we are introducing legislation that will help end the mass shootings that have devastated countless families and terrorized communities," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Feinstein added that she is "incensed at our weak gun laws that allow these mass killings to be carried out again, and again, and again in this country."

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) said she has "watched the slaughter of so many people and I've met with so many victims over the years, and in Congress nobody wanted to touch the issue."

"In the last several years, the massacres were going on more and more," continued McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son was injured in 1993 when a man opened fire on a commuter train.

"How many people have to be killed before we do something?"

Among the lawmakers present were the two senators from Connecticut as well as members of the House representing Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.

Whereas the 1994 ban, for example, defined an assault weapon as a gun that had two or more features or cosmetic accessories such as a pistol grip.

The 2013 ban will limit those features to one, which Feinstein said would make it harder for assault weapons manufacturers to get around the law.

Broadly, the legislation prohibits 158 specifically named military-style firearms along with certain semiautomatic weapons; and limit magazines to 10 rounds.

Americans would be able to keep affected weapons already in their possession; the new bill would require a background check for those weapons if sold or transferred.

Ultimately, however, these details are not likely not to matter all that much, because there is little chance that the legislation will get through Congress.

In the U.S. Senate, Democrats control 55 out of 100 votes, five short of the amount needed to overcome a GOP filibuster, even if all 55 signed on.

The odds are even worse in the GOP-led House.

Earlier this month, President Obama called on Congress to pass the assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban, as well as many other measures.

Obama said that "if there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try."

While it stands little chance of passage, gun control advocates hope the law will open the door to other measures more likely to be signed into law.

What do you think: Should there be more gun control laws?

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Ban the ban, if you choose not to own a gun that is your choice, while I agree that not every person should own fire arms the gun is not the problem, enforce the current regulations before adding to them. The criminal in Sandy Hook stole the guns used after failing to pass the currently requierd background check he was prohibited from buying them he killed his mother and stole the guns. Why treat law abiding gun owners as criminals for the actions of a very few? Should we also ban cars due to drunk drivers? Perhaps ban cars that can excede the speed limit since the owners may speed?

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I find it completely unnecessary that any one thinks they need to own an assault weapon. Completely ridiculous. No normal, average citizen needs it. Not saying all guns, either. This is just my take.

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@ Erin

See, Erin, Assault weapons by definition were already banned back in 1986. What this new bill imposes is that weapons that "look" scary will be banned. Weapons that function identically to others that don't look so scary. The guy in Norway that killed 70+ people did it with a standard hunting rifle, and guess what, guns were banned there too!

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I'd like to see the government set an example by giving up ITS guns. Too often, it operates under the delusion that military force is the solution. These military operations end in disaster, as Libya shows -- while bankrupting our economy. They create a climate of violence that helps to push damaged people over the edge. Might does NOT make right!

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NOT A CHANCE ... AND I ALREADY HAVE PLENTY OF MILITIA FIREPOWER !!!

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Americans are losers for claiming it is unconstitutional to stop these unnecessary deadly weapons. I hope everyone fighting for their constitutional rights are shot with these type of assault weapons. Why would you not want to stop your children and future generations from dying unnecessarily? It's the kids, teens, and young adults that are being affected. Why do you not have the instinct to save your kin?
Your country may never be invaded or taken over because you are so "powerful" but all the world needs to do is watch you implode by kill each other with your big bad weapons all because anyone with mommy and daddy issues can get a gun and take out anyone in their path. It's sick.

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@ Sad for you

As a responsible gun owner, and one that owns a "Miltary-Style Assault-Style semi-automatic firearm", or whatever the media decides to call it, I can honestly say i would not like to hear about you or anyone getting killed by anything, period. I hope you know that my firearms have never killed or "assaulted" anyone, nor do i intend for them to do so. If you want people to get killed, then you are the problem. Its whackjobs like you that get guns and perform mass killings, not people like myself and the majority of the gun-owning public. Good day to you

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@ Sad for you

First of all, no one wants our children or anyone to die unnecessarily. Like P Carter stated-an assault weapon ban was not going to prevent newtown, aurora, virginia tech etc.from happening, Individuals like that would find a way without an assault weapon and in most of those cases assault weapons were not even used. The second amendment's purpose was not for hunting or sport, its purpose was for the people to be able to protect themselves from harm especially from a tyranical gov't. If we start limiting or changing our constitution, we have become a country that our founding fathers fought and died to get away from. That is what's sick.

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@ Sad for you

Sad for you, have you read the constitution? This bill wouldn't stop the murders. Are you really looking at where most of the gun deaths come from? It's mostly inner city young men shooting each other and not random people. How many times have you been in a random shoot out or even seen one? We are a nation of people that believe in an individual being able to take care of themselves and not dependent on the government unlike most Socialist type countries. I don't hope you are shot with an assault weapon by the way, I hope someone hits you with a bit of knowledge before you speak again. God bless you.