Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sounded off on NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s criticism of her work toward instituting an assault weapons ban Monday on Andrea Mitchell Reports. LaPierre blasted Feinstein’s efforts to ban high-capacity weapons as a “decades-old agenda” in a speech Saturday, drawing on Feinstein’s co-sponsorship of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
Speaking at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo Banquet in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, LaPierre said,
“I’ve been amazed at how rapidly this debate deteriorated from what has proven to work to what has proven to be the political agenda of those bent on attacking the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Dianne Feinstein herself commented that she has had her gun ban legislation in her desk for over a year — waiting for the right time to introduce it. Really? Waiting for an unspeakable act to occur so the American people could be persuaded to buy into her political agenda? It’s not about making our kids or our streets safer, it’s all about their decades-old agenda.”
“Well, let me correct him,” Feinstein said in response during an interview with Andrea Mitchell on Monday.
“What I said is that we have been working on this for a year. It’s a rather complicated piece of legislation, because it exempts 2,200 hunting, sporting weapons by make and model, and that took some work of staff and consultation with real gun experts to be sure that we could be correct on all counts. So it wasn’t a bill just quickly slapped together. It had some thoughtful consideration.
We have a hearing coming up Wednesday. We have a number of witnesses. I think we will make the case that this is constitutional. I think we will make the case that these weapons do not belong on the streets of our cities, that many of the parts of these weapons make them into weapons that are specifically designed to kill large numbers of people in close conflict.
I don’t really expect to agree with much that Mr. LaPierre says. Of course, he has the right to say it, and I have the right to do this.
I’ve tried to do it carefully. We have 22 co-sponsors. I recognize it’s an uphill battle. But I also know that these events are going to continue and America has to step up. The mothers, the women, the men of America have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare.
Grievance killers look for these weapons. These weapons are easy to obtain. There are no background checks. You can buy them out of a back of a car, at a gun show. America’s laws are virtually nonexistent and, therefore, I think this is a good bill.
I intend to fight. I did it once before. If it doesn’t get done right now, be assured I will continue to press the case.
Feinstein said that the assault weapons ban has the backing of the conference of Mayors Against Guns, as well as the police, medical, religious organizations. She said the White House has been “very good.” In a Senate hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Feinstein said she plans to make her case for the legislation, and “[hopes] America will stand up and say just one thing: ’enough is enough.’”
Watch the clip: