Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Thursday that would ban more than 150 types of assault weapons along with certain high-capacity gun magazines, saying she knows she faces an uphill battle to get her measure through Congress but, with the help of the American public, it can be done.
Feinstein’s bill is far more detailed than the 1994 assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004. Her bill would stop the sale, manufacture and importation of 158 specifically named military-style firearms and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. It would also ban an additional group of assault weapons that accept detachable ammunition magazines and have at least one military characteristic — a new provision she said addresses a loophole in the 1994 law.
"One criticism of the ’94 law was that it was a two-characteristic test that defined it, and that was too easy to work around. Manufacturers could simply remove one of the characteristics and the firearm was legal," Feinstein said during a press conference, where she stood next to a wall of actual assault weapons on display. "The bill we are introducing today will make it much more difficult to work around by moving to a one-characteristic test."
Other new provisions include requiring background checks on all future transfers of assault weapons covered under the bill and eliminating the 10-year sunset that allowed the original ban to expire.