WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., along with several Democratic lawmakers unveiled sweeping new gun control legislation, but the bill will be dead on arrival when it goes to Congress.
Feinstein introduced legislation during a press conference Thursday that would ban the sale of more than 150 types of firearms as well as high-capacity magazines.
“Today we are introducing legislation that will help end the mass shootings that have devastated countless families and terrorized communities,” Feinstein said, adding she is “incensed that our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again, and again, and again in this country.”
The legislation comes a month after the Newtown school shooting that left 26 people dead, including 20 students, and a week after President Obama announced his 23 executive orders on gun control.
According to CBS News, Feinstein’s bill would reinstate the 1994 assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004 and seek a national registry for gun owners.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the legislation is “one of the most significant” bills to be introduced following the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It also marks the first bill that Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy have worked on together as senators.
“This bill will be a signature moment in providing a profoundly significant step in the legislative strategy,” said Blumenthal. “But it is only a first step and we need to build on it with a comprehensive program” that includes expanded background checks and mental health care.
President Barack Obama has also proposed reinstating the federal assault weapons ban, which Congress failed to renew in 2004. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said such a ban might clear the Senate but doubts it could pass the House of Representatives. Obama has also proposed renewing a 10-round limit the size of magazines.
Feinstein’s bill, though, has a remote chance of passing Congress at best.
CBS News reports that Feinstein won’t have the 60 votes from her Senate colleagues to get the bill passed and that it would be virtually impossible to get it passed in the House.
Robert Crook, a state gun rights advocate and executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, said assault weapons bans, such as the one in Connecticut, have not accomplished anything.
“All it does is impact the legitimate citizen and has no relevance to crime control and atrocious incidents like Sandy Hook,” he said, adding how American gun manufacturers “know how to innovate” and have been able to get around the state’s ban.
“What legislators should do — if they’re going to do something — they ought to come up with something innovative that both benefits the citizen and doesn’t impact the citizen, and benefits crime control,” Crook said.
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