In the wake of Friday’s Connecticut school shooting, a U.S. Senator says she plans to propose an assault weapons ban on the first day of Congress’ new session in 2013.
President Obama’s Newtown speech Sunday night promised strong action to prevent further tragedies, but steered clear of specifics in that particular setting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was more direct.
“I’m going to introduce in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House – a bill to ban assault weapons,” Feinstein said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
The sickening murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza has rekindled a familiar, national gun control debate.
Some legislators (mainly Democrats) say gun laws need to be tightened; others maintain that such regulations are impractical, ineffective and unconstitutional.
President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law in 1994, but the measure included a sunset provision and expired a decade later.
Democrats have tried several times since then to renew the ban, without success; President Obama has not made gun control a priority of his time in office.
Feinstein also called for the ban to be renewed after James Holmes massacred an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.
“Who needs these military-style assault weapons? Who needs an ammunition feeding device capable of holding 100 rounds?” Feinstein said.
“These weapons are not for hunting deer – they’re for hunting people.”
On Sunday Feinstein laid out details of the bill: “It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession, not retroactively, but prospectively.”
It will also ban the sale of clips of more than ten bullets, Feinstein said, with the bill’s simple purpose being “to get weapons of war off the streets.”
Feinstein would not comment on whether President Obama had failed to lead on gun control thus far. “He is going to have a bill to lead on,” she said.
Should major gun control laws like this one be passed?