Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., along with a group of Democrats, introduced a bill banning the sale and manufacturing of more than 150 types of semi-automatic weapons with military-style features Thursday, nearly six weeks after the deadly Newtown, Conn. massacre that killed 20 children and six adults.
“No weapon is taken from anyone,” Sen. Feinstein said on Thursday. “The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.”
The bill expands the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that Feinstein approved but Congress declined to renew in 2004, after lawmakers argued that, as it was written, the ban had many loopholes.
The new legislation would ban the sale, manufacture, importation, and transfer of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines as well as ban high-capacity ammunition the holds more than 10 rounds.
It also requires anyone who already owns an assault rifle to use a secure storage and safety device and bans them from selling high-capacity clips. Weapons purchased before the law's enactment would be grandfathered in, a measure drawn to avoid alienating gun owners.
“Getting this bill signed into law will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that, but it’s a battle worth having," Feinstein said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Feinstein faces the toughest opposition from the Republican House where many are in favor of gun rights, and the Democratic Senate, where members from conservative states have a tougher sell to constituents. However, the senator does have the support of the American people, a recent Gallup poll shows that 38% of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation's gun laws and want them strengthened. Another Gallup poll shows that 91% of those surveyed back President Obama’s initiative to require background checks for all gun sales.
Feinstein's bill comes after President Obama's 23 point gun control proposal, that focused on four areas: closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, providing schools with safety resources, and increasing access to mental health services.