What's in the 2013 Assault Weapons Ban?
I have a long history with Dianne Feinstein, starting when my father wrote a concerned letter about an amendment to the Constitution that would attack flag burning. His position was that a constitutional amendment banning flag burning cheapens the very symbol of freedom that it attempts to protect. Even as a young boy, I was insulted by her dismissive tone and flippant response towards my father, which basically said her opinions were more important that the Constitution.
Then, as now, she felt inalienable rights were actually privileges awarded by the wise men and women of Washington to the serfs in the hinterlands.
That being said, what's in her new Assault Weapons Ban being passed around Congress? You can read it yourself at the link, but I spent a good deal of time poring over it and here's the basics.
What's in The Feinstein Assault Weapons Bill
- "Assault Weapons", a term with no technical definition, are defined in the bill as follows
- A semiautomatic rifle that has a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
- a pistol grip, or a forward grip, or a folding stock. A pistol grip is defined elsewhere as "any other characteristic that can function as a grip". Read this as "whatever we say it is".
- a grenade launcher (never mind that grenades are already illegal)
- a barrel shroud (Feinstein thinks you should burn yourself)
- a threaded barrel
- A semiautomatic rifle that can hold more than 10 rounds, except for .22LR rimfire rifles with tubular magazines. Never mind that .22LR kills more people than any other round.
- A semiautomatic rifle with any parts that make it shoot faster.
- A semiautomatic pistol with one or more of the following:
- a threaded barrel (no silencer, just threads)
- a second pistol grip (which is defined as anything that can function as a grip).
- a barrel shroud
- the magazine is located outside the pistol grip (like that makes a difference WHERE the bullets come from?)
- a semiautomatic version of an automatic pistol (because, lets be honest, looks matter).
- A fixed magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. Have you EVER seen a gun like that?
- A semiautomatic shotgun that has one or more of the following:
- a pistol grip (defined as anything that is a grip)
- a fixed magazine with more than 5 rounds
- a detachable magazine
- a forward grip (guns get deadlier when you hold them like a badass)
- a grenade or rocket launcher (Rockets and grenades are illegal already. Also, who mounts those on a shotgun?)
- A shotgun with a revolving cylinder (Ok, that actually sounds neat)
- A list of 157 rifles, which importantly include
- Any AR pattern rifle
- Any AK pattern rifle
- Barrett semi-auto 50 cals (they use $20,000 guns all the time in the 'hood)
- Tommy guns (I'm so sorry about this one)
- Mini 14's and Steyr AUGs
- AK and AR pistols (I'll miss the Krinkov)
- The Saiga 12 in all its various forms (R.I.P.)
After defining what is illegal, the Feds carve themselves out, saying that all this illegal stuff is perfectly fine as long as you're an agent of the state. Policemen (campus police included), military and former policemen are all carved out. Even those involved with the transport of nuclear material get carved out. Not former military, though, as Feinstein stated here she believes veterans might be incapable of rational thought.
All existing guns and high-capacity magazines are grandfathered in, but cannot be transferred except through licensed dealers.
Most importantly, these exempt weapons, unless they are in reach of the owner, must be locked up in a safe which cannot be accessed by anyone else at all times.
At this point in the bill, it launches into what seems to be a ridiculous attempt to stifle criticism by listing around 100 pages of guns that are "exempt" from the bill. These are such fearsome guns as the Iver Johnson Commemorative Series single shot shotgun, and the Shiloh Sharps 1874 Business Rifle, which by no stretch of the imagination could ever be included in any assault weapons ban anywhere, ever. Also among the enormous list are handmade double-barrel shotguns priced in the many thousands of dollars. Its worth a look all by itself.
In the middle of this list of impossibly irrelevant guns exempted from the bill is the bone stock SKS, which is a fabulously cheap, deadly piece of Russian steel that holds 10 rounds, and can be reloaded faster than an AK-47. Why this got carved out, I can't say.
Next, There is an odd carveout for "temporary transfers", which are for "target shooting" at "a licensed target facility", so long as the gun is kept on the premises at all times, and the person being transferred to is not known to be prohibited from possessing a "grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon."
The bill finishes on a high note, describing the use of taxpayer dollars to buy high capacity mags from citizens.
All in all, the bill is true to Feinstein, treating her beloved employees of the state as though they were cut from a finer cloth than the commoners.