hk45Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released a summary of her wish list of a gun control bill to be introduced in the U.S. Senate on the first day of the new session in 2013.  Here are the main points:

1. Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:

  • 120 specifically-named firearms
  • Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one military characteristic
  • Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds

2. Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:

  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
  • Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test
  • Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans

3. Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. 

4. Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:

  • Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
  • Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes and
  • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons

5. Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:

  • Background check of owner and any transferee;
  • Type and serial number of the firearm;
  • Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
  • Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
  • Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

Some thoughts:

  • First, there is no way this will pass the Senate let alone the House.
  • Second, this would ban most semiautomatic handguns as most come with a detachable magazine, not a fixed magazine.  The “military characteristics” that Feinstien mentions typically has nothing to do with performance and are usually just cosmetic.  So right now that is pretty subjective.  This could end up being most modern handguns with characteristics such as a pistol grip, detachable magazines, and certain calibers like 9mm, 45 ACP, etc.  If that is the case say good bye to the Smith & Wesson M&P, the Glock, Beretta M9, etc.  Pretty much all modern semiautomatic rifles would be banned as well.  We don’t know what weapons will be specifically named for the ban and what 900 firearms will be allowed.
  • Third, banning large-capacity feeding devices will do nothing.  All you have to do is bring multiple clips.  If you know what you’re doing you can switch those out in a couple of seconds.
  • Fourth, this would create a national registry of grandfathered gun owners with semiautomatic weapons with clips that contain more than 10 rounds.  Can we say Big Brother?  It is easy to imagine how this registry could be used to harass citizens with weapons such as these.

I’d say it’s not too early to contact your Senator.

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