More than a month after 20 kids were killed at a grade school in Newtown, Connecticut, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, as promised, has proposed a new ban on some military style assault rifles and large capacity magazines.
On Thursday, Senator Feinstein detailed her proposals on Capitol Hill.
She said the goal of the proposed ban, an update to a previous ban that expired in 2004, is to “dry up the supply of these weapons over time.”
But U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he is skeptical.
“You have to have people with expertise,” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said of those putting together the possible new gun regulations in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“I told the Vice President, I said, ‘Mr. Vice President, with all due respect, there’s not a law abiding, legitimate gun owner and enthusiast, whether they’re an NRA member or not, that will believe that you or any member of your commission would fight for their rights and their guns, ’cause you don’t come from that environment or that culture,’” the Senator said.
Vice President Joe Biden lead the panel that put together the recommendations that became the basis for President Barack Obama’s gun control proposals, including a requirement for universal background checks.
Senator Manchin says he is working on a bipartisan bill that would require background checks for gun purchases in most cases.
“The exceptions are the families, immediate family members, some sporting events that you’re going to, if you’re just going to be using them at the sporting events. So we’re looking and talking to people with expertise. I’m working with the NRA, to be honest with you, and talking to them,” he said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline.
Officials with that NRA are leading the opposition to Sen. Feinstein’s proposal.
If approved, the proposal would do the following:
- Ban the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of about 150 named firearms, plus certain rifles, handguns and shotguns fitted for detachable magazines and having at least one military characteristic.
- Strengthen the 1994 ban by moving from a two- to a one-characteristic test to determine what constitutes an assault weapon.
- Ban firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons.”
- Ban the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
- Ban high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
Exceptions would be made for guns legally owned before passage of the ban.