Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban at start of next Congress

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday she would introduce a bill re-instating the federal ban on assault weapons on the first day of the new Congress in January.

Feinstein, a leading gun control advocate in Congress, said the measure had been in the works for a year and would be unveiled simultaneously in both the House and Senate.


The assault weapons ban enacted in 1994 lapsed a decade later. But calls to renew it have grown louder following the Friday shooting of 27 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as well as in response to other mass shootings in recent years.

President Obama “is going to have a bill to lead on,” Feinstein said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The measure, she said, would aim to take “weapons of war off the streets of our cities.” “It can be done,” she added.

“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession, not retroactively, prospectively. And it will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets,” Feinstein said of her proposal. 

Feinstein, first elected in 1992, was a leading sponsor of the original ban, and she said she and other lawmakers had sought to perfect it in this most recent iteration.