We know it’s coming this January, but what it will look like exactly has been an issue of great concern and consternation for gun owners:
What specific guns will be on the list? What features will be included (pistol grips, telescoping stocks, bayonet mounts, etc.)? To what degree will it be confiscatory? Will it set up a registration? Will it ban magazines that hold 10 or more rounds? Overall, how will it impact gun owners? Etc.
Well, thanks to the investigative reporting of the NRA-ILA, we now have a better understanding of what Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s 2013 Assault Weapons Ban will look like. Here is what the NRA reported after obtaining a draft of the bill:
• Reduces, from two to one, the number of permitted external features on various firearms. The 1994 ban permitted various firearms to be manufactured only if they were assembled with no more than one feature listed in the law. Feinstein’s new bill would prohibit the manufacture of the same firearms with even one of the features.
• Adopts new lists of prohibited external features. For example, whereas the 1994 ban applied to a rifle or shotgun the “pistol grip” of which “protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon,” the new bill would drastically expand the definition to include any “grip . . . or any other characteristic that can function as a grip.” Also, the new bill adds “forward grip” to the list of prohibiting features for rifles, defining it as “a grip located forward of the trigger that functions as a pistol grip.” Read literally and in conjunction with the reduction from two features to one, the new language would apply to every detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle. At a minimum, it would, for example, ban all models of the AR-15, even those developed for compliance with California’s highly restrictive ban.
• Carries hyperbole further than the 1994 ban. Feinstein’s 1994 ban listed “grenade launcher” as one of the prohibiting features for rifles. Her 2013 bill carries goes even further into the ridiculous, by also listing “rocket launcher.” Such devices are restricted under the National Firearms Act and, obviously, are not standard components of the firearms Feinstein wants to ban. Perhaps a subsequent Feinstein bill will add “nuclear bomb,” “particle beam weapon,” or something else equally far-fetched to the features list.
• Expands the definition of “assault weapon” by including:
• Three very popular rifles: The M1 Carbine (introduced in 1944 and for many years sold by the federal government to individuals involved in marksmanship competition), a model of the Ruger Mini-14, and most or all models of the SKS.
• Any “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds,” except for tubular-magazine .22s.
• Any “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches,” any “semiautomatic handgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds,” and any semi-automatic handgun that has a threaded barrel.
• Requires owners of existing “assault weapons” to register them with the federal government under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The NFA imposes a $200 tax per firearm, and requires an owner to submit photographs and fingerprints to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), to inform the BATFE of the address where the firearm will be kept, and to obtain the BATFE’s permission to transport the firearm across state lines.
• Prohibits the transfer of “assault weapons.” Owners of other firearms, including those covered by the NFA, are permitted to sell them or pass them to heirs. However, under Feinstein’s new bill, “assault weapons” would remain with their current owners until their deaths, at which point they would be forfeited to the government.
• Prohibits the domestic manufacture and the importation of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The 1994 ban allowed the importation of such magazines that were manufactured before the ban took effect. Whereas the 1994 ban protected gun owners from errant prosecution by making the government prove when a magazine was made, the new ban includes no such protection. The new ban also requires firearm dealers to certify the date of manufacture of any >10-round magazine sold, a virtually impossible task, given that virtually no magazines are stamped with their date of manufacture.
• Targets handguns in defiance of the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the right to have handguns for self-defense, in large part on the basis of the fact handguns are the type of firearm “overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.” Semi-automatic pistols, which are the most popular handguns today, are designed to use detachable magazines, and the magazines “overwhelmingly chosen” by Americans for self-defense are those that hold more than 10 rounds. Additionally, Feinstein’s list of nearly 1,000 firearms exempted by name (see next paragraph) contains not a single handgun. Sen. Feinstein advocated banning handguns before being elected to the Senate, though she carried a handgun for her own personal protection.
• Contains a larger piece of window dressing than the 1994 ban. Whereas the 1994 ban included a list of approximately 600 rifles and shotguns exempted from the ban by name, the new bill’s list is increased to nearly 1,000 rifles and shotguns. Other than for the 11 detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and one other semi-automatic rifle included in the list, however, the list appears to be pointless, because a separate provision of the bill exempts “any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.”
It goes without saying, but that’s pretty jaw-dropping – isn’t it?
Of course, there is the question on whether or not the NRA’s recapitulation of the 2013 AWB is accurate?
That is, did the NRA get the most recent draft of the bill or an earlier draft that may have changed following subsequent revisions?
Well, if you compare what the NRA wrote about the 2013 AWB and what Sen. Feinstein said in a PBS NewsHour interview, it seems that the NRA is spot on in its reporting. While she didn’t delve into specific detail, she confirmed much of what was listed by the NRA (a ban on high capacity magazines, a more widespread ban on modern-looking rifles, the registration mandate for all ‘assault weapons’ under the NFA, etc.) during the interview.
Though, one particular point that Sen. Feinstein was adamant was when she told the news anchor she was not going to pursue a ban on handguns or concealed carry. “Quite Frankly,” she said, “That dog won’t hunt.”
An obvious question: do you trust her?
Given her dubious history on the Second Amendment, it’s hard to imagine that down the road she wouldn’t aggressively support a bill that would restrict handgun ownership in some way (e.g. a national ‘May-Issue’ bill or something of the sort). But time will tell.
The NRA also added these factoids which should be disseminated to everyone you know:
The Department of Justice study. On her website, Feinstein claims that a study for the DOJ found that the 1994 ban resulted in a 6.7 percent decrease in murders. To the contrary, this is what the study said: “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders. Our best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995. . . . However, with only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban. Nor can we rule out effects of other features of the 1994 Crime Act or a host of state and local initiatives that took place simultaneously.”
“Assault weapon” numbers and murder trends. From the imposition of Feinstein’s “assault weapon” ban (Sept. 13, 1994) through the present, the number of “assault weapons” has risen dramatically. For example, the most common firearm that Feinstein considers an “assault weapon” is the AR-15 rifle, the manufacturing numbers of which can be gleaned from the BATFE’s firearm manufacturer reports, availablehere. From 1995 through 2011, the number of AR-15s—all models of which Feinstein’s new bill defines as “assault weapons”—rose by over 2.5 million. During the same period, the nation’s murder rate fell 48 percent, to a 48-year low. According to the FBI, 8.5 times as many people are murdered with knives, blunt objects and bare hands, as with rifles of any type.
Many have seen this 2013 AWB, which will be introduced in the Senate on Jan. 3rd when the Senate reconvenes for next year’s legislative session, as part of a larger conspiracy by global banks, George Soros-types and progressives (collectivists, socialists, statists, etc.) to destroy the Second Amendment and disarm every law-abiding citizen in America.
While the evidence for this theory remains tenuous, at least in the sense of it being an organized movement going on behind the scenes at top levels of government, big business, the media and the banking industry (New World Order stuff), recent actions by the President, lawmakers like Sen. Feinstein, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Mayors Against Illegal Guns and his Super PAC) should all give us pause to consider the larger picture.
InfoWars put together this interesting analysis of our current situation. They certainly make some compelling arguments:
In any event, what are your thoughts? Is there an organized and collective effort to destroy the Second Amendment in this country (a conspiracy level effort)? Do you believe Sen. Feinstein’s bill will pass through Congress and be signed into law by President Obama? Overall, how worried are you about this impending 2013 AWB?