March 12, 2021
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein might lie about nearly everything related to firearms and gun control, but when she says she is going to introduce another gun ban she is generally telling the truth.
Such was the case on Thursday when Feinstein, along with fellow gun-ban advocate U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, introduced what they call the “Assault Weapons Ban.” It is, of course, not that at all—rather, a ban on most popular semi-automatic rifles used legally and safely by millions of Americans for sport shooting, competition, self-defense and hunting.
The 125-page bill, which it’s likely no lawmaker will read in its entirety before casting a vote, is similar to bills filed in the past. The main difference this time is that Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House.
Digging through the legal mumble jumble and anti-gun buzzwords is a chore to be certain. So in short, this is a bad bill that not only greatly infringes on the rights of lawful gun owners, but would do nothing to reduce violent crime or mass shootings.
In a nutshell, the measure would ban the manufacture, sale, transfer and importation of 205 firearms (AR-15s, AKs, SCAR-type rifles, pistol-caliber carbines, etc.) by name. Some of those include rimfire rifles like that Armalite M15 22LR and Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. In fact, every Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR)-style rifle that I own can be found on the list.
Many AR-style pistols are also banned by name in the measure. Some listed are Olympic Arms AR-15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol, Sig Sauer P5556 pistol, POF USA AR pistols, Chiappa Firearms M4 pistol and the DPMS AR-15 pistol. Owners of both rifles and pistols on the list would be allowed to keep banned weapons—for now—but could not transfer them.
In case that section of the proposed law isn’t all-encompassing enough, the measure would also ban any weapon with the capacity to use a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more “military” characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock—again, nearly every semiautomatic military-styled firearm in existence. And again, owners would be able to keep such firearms—for now—but could not transfer them.
In an apparent attempt to appease some gun owners, the bill also lists by name more than 2,000 guns that aren’t banned by the legislation (mostly hunting- and target-style firearms). But to most gun owners fully engaged in the battle to protect the Second Amendment, it’s little concession that Feinstein and her minions would be benevolent enough to allow us to keep our Rossi R92 Lever Action Carbines, our single-shot Ruger No. 1s or our Krieghoff K80 International Skeet shotguns. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2nd Amendment does not recognize our God-given right to hunt and target shoot, it recognizes our God-given right to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government.]
In case there’s someone reading this who isn’t worried about the legislation since the current measure allows owners to keep their so-called “assault weapons,” push those thoughts out of your mind. Under the measure, such “grandfathered” guns must be stored using a secure gun storage or safety device, rendering them nearly useless for home defense. Besides, if the Democrats get this law passed, there’s little doubt they’ll be emboldened enough to come back later and try to confiscate firearms banned by this legislation.
The measure would also ban firearms magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds—what Feinstein and other gun-ban advocates like to call “high-capacity” magazines. In truth, such magazines are actually standard-capacity and come with most semi-automatic rifles and many semi-automatic pistols. The sale of such magazines also would be forbidden, even those owned privately by individuals.
Additionally, the legislation would also ban bump-fire stocks and what Feinstein and Company call “other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.” So, any type of trigger mechanism, not declared a machinegun by the 1934 National Firearms Act, which allows for faster semiautomatic fire would be banned.
Feinstein touts her bill as a measure that “saves lives.” “When it was in place from 1994-2004, gun massacres declined by 37 percent compared with the decade before,” she said. “After the ban expired, the number of massacres rose by 183 percent.” In fact, that’s another of Feinstein’s lies based on cherry-picking statistics to try to strengthen her argument. As most Firearms News readers likely remember, Congress let that law, which included a magazine ban, sunset after 10 years when even federal government studies showed it had no measurable effect on violent crime.
This measure is co-sponsored by a plethora of gun-hating Democrat legislators including Reps. Chris Murphy, Connecticut; Chuck Schumer, New York; Bernie Sanders, Vermont; Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts; Dick Durbin, Illinois; Corey Booker, New Jersey; Amy Klobucher, Minnesota; and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York.
The legislation ends with the following disclaimer: “If any provision of this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.”
I’m no lawyer, but based on my reading of the legislation, the only thing that would remain after getting rid of the unconstitutional provisions is the section listing what firearms it is okay for American citizens to own. If gun-banners in Congress manage to push this measure through and get it to the president’s desk, all gun owners had better hope the courts see it that way, too.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.