Feinstein: "Not Sure There Is Any Set Of Laws" That Could Have Prevented Las Vegas Shooting


California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in an interview on CBS's 'Face The Nation' this week that she can think of no law that Congress could pass which would have prevented last week's Las Vegas mass shooting.

"He passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions," she said about the shooter.

Also on Sunday morning, Feinstein told NBC's Chuck Todd that she could not think of any laws which would have prevented last week's tragedy: "I don’t know. I would have to take a good look at that and really study it. I’m not sure there is any set of laws that could have prevented it."

'Face The Nation' transcript:

JOHN DICKERSON: We turn now to the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. Senator Dianne Feinstein joins us from San Francisco. Senator, you're supporting a bill that would ban these bump fire stocks. Do you have any Republican support for that bill?

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: We have Republican interest. I have nobody lined up, we have 38 cosponsors, they're all Democratic. We've had individuals that have indicated an interest and particularly for a hearing.

JOHN DICKERSON: The NRA put out a statement on Thursday suggesting they would support looking into regulations that would keep these bump fire stocks from being sold. What did you make of that position?

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, I thought that's a step forward, and it's appreciate – it's appreciated. Regulations aren't going to do it. We need a law. It can't be changed by another president. Right now we're seeing one president change actions of a – of a president that came before him, and that would happen in this area. And I hope that Americans will step up and say, "Enough is enough. Congress, do something."

JOHN DICKERSON: What do you make of increased sales of bump fire stocks in wake of this shooting and then now legislation?

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: See, I don't know what to make of it. What this event said – this is a well-to-do man, he wasn't mentally ill. Um, he wasn't a criminal, he wasn't a juvenile, he wasn't gang banger, and he was able to buy 40 weapons over a period of time, have 12 bump stocks, line them up, break through two windows in his hotel suite, and take aim at tens of thousands -- well I guess over a thousand people at a concert. And this was such a cross section of America that it really struck at every one of us, that this could happen to you. And we want to stop it.

JOHN DICKERSON: Could there have been any law passed that would've stopped him?

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: No, he passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions.

JOHN DICKERSON: One of the things that's been a part of this debate is some people, right after this massacre, called for more gun regulation, said something must be done, blamed the NRA. And what gun rights advocates heard is they heard that – that call for something to be done and what they – what they heard in that is people essentially saying, "We want to ban semi-automatic weapons."

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, that's just plain wrong. This is written in clean English, you can take a look at it, I'll send a copy of it. It's a two page bill, I'll send a copy of it to anyone who calls our office, and you can look at it yourself. It does not take anyone's gun.

JOHN DICKERSON: From the other side, those who would like to restrict guns in America, who hear a bill targeted as you've described it narrowly at this idea – at bump fire stocks – and say, "The only way to stop this kind of situation in America is to ban these kinds of semi-automatic weapons, and weapons that can fire with rapidity, and anything short of that is insufficient." What do you say to those people?

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: I agree with them to a great extent. What I don't – because, as you know, I did the assault weapons legislation in 1993, which was law of the land for 10 years. So I believe, I mean I've watched this thing from the Texas bell tower to today, in schools, in businesses, in workplaces. No one appears to be safe anywhere.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask your – get your thoughts on another piece of legislation. The NRA has mentioned, in response to this shooting, they've talked about passing the concealed carry reciprocity, which essentially allows somebody who has a concealed carry permit in one state to carry it throughout all other states the way, say, a driver's license would work. What's your opinion of that bill which is in the Senate?

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, my opinion of that bill is it's terrible. We want every American to feel comfortable packing a concealed weapon around the country? I represent 40 million Californians, and I can say without hesitation Californians do not want concealed carry.

JOHN DICKERSON: If they say, though, that this is a right protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution, why is it California who gets to deny people the exercise of that right?

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