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Sen. Dianne Feinstein To Reintroduce Expired Assault Weapons Ban

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has pledged to revive a law banning assault weapons at the opening of the next session of Congress. Gwen Ifill talks to Feinstein about the chances a new ban will pass after its 2004 expiration, and how it might eventually make weapons like those used in the Sandy Hook shooting less available.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, I have every sense that it's an uphill road. It was in the past when we did it in the past.

I wrote that bill. My office wrote that bill. It went through. It wasn't amended. It went through the Senate, the House. It was signed by the president. And it was the law for 10 years.

I think what is unique about this is, it's really just one class of gun, the assault weapon. The assault weapon is developed for military purposes, to kill in close combat.

And it doesn't belong in the streets of our cities. And it doesn't belong where it can be picked up easily by a grievance killer, who can walk into a workplace, a mall, a theater, and now an elementary school and kill large numbers.

GWEN IFILL: Explain to our viewers how what you are planning to introduce would have changed what happened in Newtown, Conn.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, over time, that weapon would be much less available.

What we're trying to do is ban the sale, the manufacture, the transfer, the importation of assault weapons. And it gets quite technical. And I won't go into that right now.

Grandfathered weapons that people already have, subject those weapons either to licensing or to a trigger lock, and spell out those grandfathered weapons, which would be over 900 in the bill, so nobody can say, oh, we took our -- their hunting weapon away.

Then I would be able to say, here's your hunting weapon. It's specifically exempted in the bill.

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