When Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced her intention to introduce a bill banning so-called “assault weapons” on the first day of the 113th Congress next month, the implication was that it would work much like her previous handiwork, the 1994-2004 federal AWB, in that firearms and magazines manufactured before the effective date of the ban would remain legal, and not restricted more oppressively than other firearms. In other words, her legislation would have a “grandfather clause” (although the protection provided by such a clause is often far less than one might expect). She gave this impression on NBC News (quoted in the Huffington Post):
“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession, not retroactively, but prospectively,” and ban the sale of clips of more than ten bullets, Feinstein said.
The “not retroactively” wording would seem to imply that firearms already in private hands would not be subject to the new restrictions.
In a press conference last Friday with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), however, she painted a far different picture. In this short C-SPAN video clip (which cannot be embedded inExaminer articles), she spills some previously unreleased details about her proposed legislation. She explains that all existing “assault weapons” would be–just as machine guns are currently–put under National Firearms Act (NFA) regulation, with all the legal hoops such regulation entails.
The guns would be registered (presumably, like machine guns, subject to periodic inspections by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives); owners would be subject to invasive background checks, presumably fingerprinting, etc. She did not mention the $200 tax stamp for every transfer (and would that also apply to magazines–each magazine?), but if they are to be regulated “like machine guns,” that would be part of it. And ownership of the gun would apparently be contingent on a local judge or chief law enforcement officer approving that ownership–with the official in question not required to provide that approval, or even a reason for disapproval.
Failure to meet any of these requirements would be grounds for confiscation.
By the way, she justifies this exponential escalation of the war on guns earlier in the press conference–and no paraphrase would do this insanity justice:
Um–1993, I got a whole bunch of gun magazines, and went through them, and sort of did a study of the state of the art of these guns then [“a whole bunch of gun magazines”–that’s some “study”]. We just re-did that, and I have on my desk, sort of these magazines, which will show the state of the art today, 2012. I cannot tell you how much more sophisticated and technologically advanced these weapons are, all stemming from military weapons. There are even devices which can be put in them legally, which make them fully automatic.
These “devices” she mentions are almost certainly stocks like those made by Slide Fire Solutions and Fostech Outdoors (the Bumpski), which mechanize the process of “bump firing.” This is very obviously not fully automatic, because only one shot is fired per trigger pull. Nevertheless, this seems to be her primary justification for treating semi-automatic firearms like machine guns.
She is not without allies ready to order gun confiscations. The judge who heard the Tucson rampage shooting case is on board, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that confiscation “is an option,” NBC blowhard Ed Shultz demands confiscation and New York police are already worried (as they should be) that they will be given the mortally dangerous job of seizing decent, peaceable citizens’ legally purchased life and liberty preservation tools.
Feinstein’s plan would seem to necessitate a massively expanded BATFE, in order to administer this vast registry (BATFE cannot be counted on to competently–or honestly–administer thevastly smaller registry of legal machine guns).
Even without confiscation, Feinstein’s bill is a new “Intolerable Act,” and a direct violation of her oath of office. With it, it’s an act of war against the American people. That is a war that she and her allies will lose.