SALT LAKE CITY — In a call to action last week, President Barack Obama urged Congress to put forth legislation that would address the issue of gun control. More than a week later, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reintroduced legislation that would ban more than 150 types of guns.
Sen. Feinstein's bill, which is opposed by the Republican-led House and some Democrats in the Senate, is modeled after the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004. Sen. Feinstein was the original author of the 1994 law that banned manufacturers from selling semi-automatic firearms.
Although Sen. Feinstein readily admits she has an uphill battle in her attempt to get Congress to pass an assault weapons ban bill, here are seven ways the proposed legislation would affect you if signed into law.
Stricter definition of an assault weapon
As explained in an article I wrote earlier this week, the term "assault weapon" is a controversial term and has many definitions, depending on state law. In general, however, an assault weapon was defined as a semi-automatic firearm that was capable of a detachable magazine and two characteristics similar to a military-style firearm. Once the AWB expired in 2004, many states were left to define assault weapons, if the state so chose.
A semi-automatic rifle is banned if it can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature:
- Pistol grip
- Forward grip
- Folding, telescoping, or detachable stock
- Grenade launcher or rocket launcher
- Barrel shroud
- Threaded barrel
A semi-automatic pistol is banned if it can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature:
- Threaded barrel
- Second pistol grip
- Barrel shroud
- Capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip
- Aemi-automatic version of an automatic firearm
Sen. Feinstein's new bill closes the loopholes that many manufacturers were able to get around, including the two-characteristics test. The new legislation would move from a two-characteristics test to a one-characteristic test, which would make it more difficult for manufacturers to get around the assault weapon definition.
"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," Sen. Feinstein said during a press conference. "The bill we are introducing today will make it much more difficult to work around by moving to a one-characteristic test."
Under the proposed legislation, banned semi-automatic rifles are those that accept a detachable magazine and include one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
Banned semi-automatic pistols are those that accept a detachable magazine and include one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm.
Included in the proposed legislation is the capacity of ammunition available at one time. All semi-automatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds will be banned. Additionally, all ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds would be banned.
Lawfully possessed firearms purchased before the bill's enactment would be grandfathered in under the AWB. Even though the legislation would ban more than 150 firearms and classify them as assault weapons, Americans will still have access to them in a very limited extent. Those wishing to purchase a grandfathered assault weapon will be required to have a background check.
However, the law would prohibit the sale and transfer of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices, even if purchased before the bill's enactment. The government would allow states to use federal Byrne JAG grant funds to allow American citizens to participate in a voluntary buy-back program of all grandfathered semi-automatic firearms and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
Sales and transfers of firearms
Any firearm that is included as part of the proposed legislation cannot be sold, transferred, imported or manufactured. Even though many assault weapons will be grandfathered in under the law, Sen. Feinstein's bill would make it difficult to sale or transfer grandfathered assault weapons. This would have a huge impact on several gun shows around the nation and the various website that sell firearms.
Sen. Feinstein has added a clause in the legislation that would eliminate the 10-year sunset, which allowed the 1994 law to expire. As a result, if passed, Congress would have to pass another bill to modify or repeal the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. For gun rights supporters, this type of clause would be a major setback, and would make it extremely difficult to overturn. Proponents of gun control, however, would not have to address the issue of banning assault weapons again.
Excludes hunting and sporting firearms
Although Sen. Feinstein's bill would ban more than 150 firearms, it does not include more than 2,000 "legitimate" hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns. Sen. Feinstein's website says the firearms will be specified by make and model; however, the exact firearms included have not been released as of this writing.
List of firearms banned
Sen. Feinstein has listed the banned assault weapons that would be included in the legislation on her website. Here is what would be banned:
- Rifles: All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK-74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR-47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK-47, VEPR, WASR-10, and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS; All AR types, including the following: AR-10, AR-15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15-T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR-70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R-15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR-15, Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles; Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1; Beretta CX4 Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K-1, K-2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000; Feather Industries AT-9; Galil Model AR and Model ARM; Hi-Point Carbine; HK-91, HK-93, HK-94, HK-PSG-1 and HK USC; Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU-16, and RFB; SIG AMT, SIG PE-57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer SG 551; Springfield Armory SAR-48; Steyr AUG; Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M-14/20CF; All Thompson rifles, including the following: Thompson M1SB, Thompson T1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B, Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson T1-C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D, Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C; UMAREX UZI Rifle; UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine; Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78; Vector Arms UZI Type; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.
- Pistols: All AK-47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol, Draco AK-47 pistol, HCR AK-47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK-47 pistol, Krinkov pistol, Mini Draco AK-47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol; All AR-15 types, including the following: American Spirit AR-15 pistol, Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR-15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR-15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol; Calico Liberty pistols; DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol; Encom MP-9 and MP-45; Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol; Intratec AB-10, TEC-22 Scorpion, TEC-9, and TEC-DC9; Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol; The following MAC types: MAC-10, MAC-11; Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol; Military Armament Corp. Ingram M-11, Velocity Arms VMAC; Sig Sauer P556 pistol; Sites Spectre; All Thompson types, including the following: Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5; All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI.
- Shotguns: Franchi LAW-12 and SPAS 12; All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following: IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S, IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP-01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga 12K-030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K-040 Taktika; Streetsweeper; Striker 12.
- Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms: All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms including TNW M2HB.