The Washington campaign to control guns moves into high gear tomorrow when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the author of the nation’s original “assault” gun ban in the 1990s, announces her new proposal to fingerprint, photograph and investigate Americans who already have weapons.
Her office told the Washington Times she will hold a press conference Thursday. Her original ban, which existed from 1994 until 2004, was not renewed by Congress after law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, testified it was ineffective in cutting crime.
Nevertheless, the ban on “assault” weapons is being proposed again, only this time it’s on steroids.
Feinstein earlier announced her plan to ban 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 or more military characteristics; and semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.”
She claims her plan will strengthen the 1994 ban by outlawing weapons that have a particular characteristic, such as a “thumbhole stock.”
Feinstein also wants to outlaw ammunition magazines that take more than 10 rounds.
She claims it would protect “rights of existing gun owners” because it would grandfather weapons already legally owned and exempt “disabled” weapons.
But for any weapons that are “grandfathered,” she would demand that the owners be investigated, photographed and fingerprinted; the type and serial number of the weapon be registered and local law enforcement certify that it is legal.
The Washington Examiner points out that Feinstein’s plan would cost every owner of a semiautomatic rifle another $200 in taxes for weapons they already have purchased and on which they already have paid taxes.
The report said a $200 tax is imposed each time a National Firearms Act weapon is registered or transferred. “Presumably, each weapon registered as an NFA firearm would be subject to the same restrictions,” the report said.
It also points out that Feinstein’s ban on any transfers would include “assault” weapons, which means owners of semiautomatic rifles would be allowed to pay the tax and keep them until they die, when they would be forfeited to the government.
For support, Feinstein cites a letter to the editor on the American Journal of Public Health in which two people wrote that “when Maryland imposed a more stringent ban on assault pistols and high-capacity magazines in 1994, it led to a 55 percent drop in assault pistols recovered by the Baltimore Police Department.”
She also applauded Barack Obama’s recent strategy for controlling guns.
“He was exactly right when he said ‘weapons designed for the theater of war have no place’ in our society. I couldn’t agree more,” said Feinstein, who once had her own concealed carry permit because she perceived a threat to herself.
The moves were prompted by the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in which a 20-year-old man killed his own mother, then took her guns and went to a nearby school and killed 20 students and five adults.
Ironically, perhaps because of the coming ban, school officials have been buying weapons. It was reported this week that the Fontana Unified School District Police Department had purchased 14 AR-15 “assault” weapons to protect students.
Supt. Carl. Olsen-Binks said the “assault” rifles are being stored in locked safes on campuses for officers to use if needed.
Whether the extreme measures Feinstein is proposing will succeed remains to be seen. While the White House and Senate are led by Democrats, the U.S. House of Representatives has a Republican majority.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA executive director, said, “We’re told that to stop insane killers, we must accept less freedom, less than the criminal class and the political elites, less than they keep for themselves.”
He said, “We believe we deserve and have every right to the same freedom that our government leaders keep for themselves and the same capabilities and the same technologies that criminals use to prey upon us and our families.”
He warned that the federal government never is happy simply with knowing information about gun owners.
“He wants to put every firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government and he wants to keep all of those names in a national federal gun database. There are only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners: to either tax them or take them,” LePierre said.
Feinstein’s inconsistency on gun control was captured on video:
At a U.S. Senate hearing on terrorism after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, she told “a little anecdote” of how she carried concealed to protect herself after two assassination attempts by the New World Liberation Front, the NWLF.
She explained: “I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.”
Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, asked in an interview with WND, “Do we need any more proof that she is a hypocrite?”
Hammond said Feinstein “has no problem getting Congress to buy armed guards for Capitol Hill.”
“Does she consider herself more precious and more valuable than our children?” he asked.
Feinstein reportedly no longer has her concealed carry permit.
She championed her private firearm ownership the same year she called for banning “all” firearm ownership.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” in 1995 she said, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up every one of them. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it.”
See her comments in the “60 Minutes” interview:
Another video shows Vice President Joe Biden in a 2008 campaign speech in Virginia opposing gun control.
“I guarantee ya, Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns so don’t buy that malarkey, [anti-gun Democrats] gonna start peddling that to you. I’ve got two if he tries to fool with my Baretta he’s got a problem.”
See the Biden video:
However, in 1989, as a senator, Biden introduced legislation for an assault weapons ban that was defeated but then revived by Feinstein.
Ironically, Feinstein serves in Congress with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who spoke once at a fundraiser for Kathleen Soliah, aka Sara Jane Olson, who was part of the NWLF, the group accused of attempting to bomb Feinstein’s home.