Sen. Feinstein: US has to ‘bite the bullet' and enact new gun-control restrictions

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) argued Sunday it's time for the country to "bite the bullet" and pass new gun control legislation.

In response to a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that resulted in 27 dead, including 20 children, Feinstein has promised to introduce a new federal assault weapons ban in 2013.

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"America has to bite the bullet of what these incidents mean to our people, to our nation and our nation's standing in the world," Feinstein said on "Fox News Sunday." "When you have someone walking in and slaying in the most brutal way, 6-year-olds, something is really wrong.

Feinstein said she would look to close loopholes that allowed many gun manufactures to evade the restrictions in the original federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

“What we would do is take the earlier bill and strengthen it in many ways, prevent the gun manufacturers, from getting around it as they did,” she said. “Go to a one physical characteristic test, take specific models and ban their manufacture, their sale and their transfer, and take the weapons that are grandfathered, that are in possession now, and put them under the Federal Firearms Act so that they would be licensed, there would be background checks down.”

A number of legislators on both the right and the left, including a few with "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association, have called for new action to prevent future gun violence. But any effort to pass an assault weapons ban will face strong opposition from the nation's gun lobby and many GOP lawmakers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), appearing alongside Feinstein, said he would oppose a new assault weapons ban.

"I think the assault weapons ban didn't work then. It's not going to work now, and I will oppose it," he said. 

But Feinstein can count on the support of President Obama, who said in a a separate interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he hoped to pass new gun legislation in the next year.

"I'm going to be putting forward a package and I'm going to be putting my full weight behind it," Obama said. "I'm going to be making an argument to the American people about why this is important and why we have to do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again."