Quick Breakdown of Difi’s Proposed Assault Weapons Ban Bill

We all know that this is going absolutely nowhere. And that for all intents and purposes it’s dead in the water. But just for giggles, let’s take a look at Senator Feinstein’s proposed civilian disarmament legislation and see how her latest work differs from her first effort, the 1994 AWB and even what she previously proposed for this latest bill . . .

Here are a few highlights (so you don’t have to read the whole rambling mess):

  • Grandfathering is back, with no restrictions on grandfathered guns
  • No registration of grandfathered firearms required
  • Database of “assault weapons” used in a crime
  • Specifically exempted firearms are, for the most part, outside the scope of the law and many popular home defense guns are not present

First, we now have the “one feature” test. If any single evil “military” feature is present on the rifle, it’s considered an “assault weapon.” And since one of those features is a threaded barrel, just about every AR-15 ever made would need a barrel change or a date with a welding torch to make it legal. Also, apparently if you have a rocket launcher on your gun, that counts as an evil feature (no longer content with merely grenade launchers, eh?).

Under the bill, “assault rifle” not only includes the standard detachable magazine version of the AR-15, but apparently any semi-automatic rifle with even a fixed magazine capacity that holds more than 10 rounds. Oh, except if it’s a tube mag using .22 caliber rimfire ammo. Those guns evidently don’t entice people to kill babies as much as box magazines do.

As for shotguns, DiFi has added some language that requires all semi-auto shotguns to have a fixed magazine capacity of no more than five rounds, so there goes 3-gun shooting. Also, revolving cylinders are specifically forbidden which would appear to eliminate The Judge.

For those who were wondering, here’s the language on barrel shrouds:

(38) The term ‘barrel shroud’— (A) means a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel of a firearm so that the shroud protects the user of the firearm from heat generated by the barrel; and (B) does not include— (i) a slide that partially or completely encloses the barrel; or (ii) an extension of the stock along the bottom of the barrel which does not encircle or substantially encircle the barrel

I would be much obliged if someone could tell me exactly how a “barrel shroud” makes a gun any more or less deadly.

Here’s the big thing — grandfathering is back in the bill. Senator Feinstein made a pretty big stink about registering all of the guns currently in the country and not letting anyone sell them or transfer them, but the bill she filed has none of that. Even the ATF registration language is gone. In terms of confiscation or even stemming the flow of the millions of firearms that fit her definition, the new bill does exactly . . . nothing.

Even with “high capacity” magazines, grandfathering still applies. So if you have a pre-ban magazine, there are no strings attached.

The most interesting part of the bill is the requirement for the Attorney general to maintain a database of any firearm that falls into the definition of “assault weapon” that is used in a crime. To me, it smells like the senior Senator from California is looking ahead, wanting to have a ready-made list of firearms that were used in a crime she can point to when the bill is inevitably challenged.

And then we get to the list of exempted firearms. During her Thursday dog and pony show, Senator Feinstein made a big deal about exempting hundreds of firearms in the bill. But looking at the list, the vast and overwhelming majority are guns that wouldn’t have fallen under the scope of the bill anyway under any stretch of the imagination. Why does Difi insist on specifically exempting a Remignton 700 when there’s no way that the bolt gun would have been classified as an assault weapon anyway? Can you say ‘window dressing?’

It seems more likely that she listed all those guns as part of an effort to peel hunters off from the rest of gun owners to get as much support for her bill as possible.

Contradictions? Don’t worry, they’re in there. For instance, the following Mossberg shotguns are exempted from her new law:

  • Mossberg Model 930 All-Purpose Field
  • Mossberg Model 930 Slugster
  • Mossberg Model 930 Turkey
  • Mossberg Model 930 Waterfow

But the 930 SPX, which is only different from the other models in the kind of sights that it uses, is not on the OK list. The SPX has the exact same mechanism, with the exact same rate of fire and fires the exact same ammunition. So when it sounds like a hunting shotgun, it’s good to go. But if it’s designed for home defense, verboten.

Honestly, this thing is a dog’s breakfast. It’s a monster of a bill that has a snappy title to appeal to people in favor of gun control . . . and then does exactly nothing in real terms. It promises, but doesn’t have a prayer of delivering.

Even if I didn’t think it was a dumb idea in the first place, this Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 is so neutered that there’s no way it could ever achieve any of its ostensible goals. Par for the legislative course, it’s nothing more than a self-serving ego trip, intended to make it look like someone is ‘doing something.’

avatar

About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

74 Responses to Quick Breakdown of Difi’s Proposed Assault Weapons Ban Bill

  1. avatarstormchaser says:

    At this time we all need to contact our reps again and let them know that we do not accept any version of an AWB, nor magazine limits.
    Let them know we will stand for no compromise and tell them if they must do something to work on school security and mental health.

  2. avatarDavid says:

    I think I finally figured out the barrel shroud nonsense… She’s going after handguards on AR’s. They fit the definition, despite not being a barrel shroud. So every AR would become an assault weapon…

    • avatarMike S says:

      Yeah that’s what I’m thinking. It’s intended to head off any pistol grip work-arounds keeping the AR legal. They also made sure not to exempt fixed mags so a bullet-button wouldn’t do ya any good. This bill is really designed to be the California AWB 2.0, applied nationally.

    • avatarDoug says:

      All ARs are already on the ‘banned by name’ list.

    • avatarArmchair Command'oh says:

      The barrel shroud language bans any gun that doesn’t have a classic gun stock. Without that language you could still have a modern sporting rifle with one of those ridiculous looking CA legal stocks.

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      Barrel shroud? Does that mean my Mosin Nagant would be considered an assault weapon?

    • avatarFyrewerx says:

      So, would this mean a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch or Target model is NOT banned…. only the Mini-14 Tactical IS banned (probably more due to the pistol grip than its “sort of” barrel shroud)?

  3. avatarTangledThorns says:

    I’m hoping this comes to a vote very soon. The sooner its defeated the better.

    • avatarJPD says:

      Better yet is that it sits in committee forever. Thus, never seeing the light of day.

      • It’d be better for it to die quickly then sit around in committee. The quicker it is off the table the quicker the panic buying, low inventories, and price gouging can come to an end.

      • avatarHuman Being says:

        I’ve said it before, all the presidential theater and constant noise on the news shows says to me that this is intended as a long, slow-push, constant-pressure offensive. I don’t think Feinstein’s bill is intended as anything but a “high bid” to start with and then push smaller things through over the course of the year.

        Keep calling and writing. At least every week. I’m serious. Don’t let up and allow liberal legislators to tell their colleagues “public consensus has changed and they’re willing to accept *this* slice of the bill”. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t exhaust yourself, don’t lose heart, and remember what they put us through for 2014.

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      Here’s hoping that it doesn’t get modified to somehow be more “acceptable”. This needs to go straight to the shredder. No negotiations, no modifications, no amendments, just grind it up and send the message that our rights are non-negotiable.

  4. avatarArmchair Command'oh says:

    The barrel shroud language would ban a 10/22 takedown. There’s no doubt that gun serves no purpose but to kill people. I feel safer already.

  5. avatarSammy says:

    I was glad to see there was NO picture of the evil empress accompanying this post. I’d like a show of hands of those who condemn the use of such a scarey image, and propose only pictures of DiFi with at least 2 bags on her head be allow hence forth.

  6. avatarSDFreeman says:

    I think the barrel shroud is to go after shotguns like the Mossberg 590.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Not all 590′s come with one so they’re pissing in the wind with that one. Even if they do it’s not altogether too hard to remove them and be legal.

  7. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Does the bill require a rifle to be semiautomatic to be an “assault weapon”? I ask because my bolt-action mil-surp guns have wood furniture above and below the barrel. My SMLEs have detachable magazines. They all have bayonet lugs. And don’t get my started on my SKS.

  8. avatarEric S. says:

    Nick, every time you write one of these articles you say that it has no chance of passage. I love your writings but I feel like you are way too optimistic about this stuff. There’s a lot of Fudds out there who don’t care about 15-round pistol mags or 20/30-round rifle mags. I’ve talked to many of them. We need to treat every piece of restricting legislation as a bona fide threat. Back in 1994 no one thought the AWB would pass and rested on their laurels. Please, do not make the same mistake.

    • avatarNick says:

      Agreed. The likely hood is very low, but by no means do we lighten pressure on our reps.

      • avatarLarryR says:

        Nick….likely hood is one word: likelihood. If you separate it into two words it changes the meaning. ‘Hood’ has several meanings but none that mean what you meant it to be. Stop using spell check so religiously. Sorry about the appearance of spelling police, but I get so bloody tired of seeing common spelling mistakes that anyone could do better if they tried. Spelling mistakes give the impression to the reader suggesting semi-illiteracy.

    • avatarObi-Wan Kenobody says:

      I concur with Eric.

      I’m paranoid enough to believe that the vast majority of AWB talk is just part of the smoke screen designed to sneak in the Trojan horse that’ll have us using Clinton mags again. As was stated by GoA, it’s the “win by retreat” method and many pro-gun people fail to recognize this tactic.

      We don’t win if we negotiate. We only win if nothing changes.

    • Nick’s judgement is clouded by his Texas residency.

  9. avatarMartin says:

    That mention of rocket launchers got me thinking – do the adapters for gas pistols that let them fire flares count as rocket launchers?

    Inquring minds want to know…

  10. avatarSkeev says:

    You keep saying it’s going nowhere, I keep saying you’re overconfident.

    $#it has a way of floating.

  11. avatarMD Matt says:

    Hm,
    Would the shroud language make a mini14 ranch an assault weapon?
    Not personally familiar with one so it’s tuff for me to decide.

    • avatarWussface says:

      The tactical version of the mini-14 is already listed by name as an assault weapon. It then lists the standard mini-14 without a folding as an exempted rifle. I would say it’s legal so long as it’s not the tactical version and it doesn’t have a folding stock… but im no lawyer

    • avatarPreston Moore says:

      The “Ruger Mini-14 (w/o folding stock)” is specifically mentioned, by name on the exemption list.

      • avatarFyrewerx says:

        I may be wrong, but I read the list as saying the Ruger Mini-14 Tactical is banned…. mostly due to the pistol grip. I would think (LOL) that the Mini-14 Ranch and Target models would not be banned (except that they’re semi-auto, too).

    • avatarDrewN says:

      Maybe, and maybe M1a’s and M1 Carbines as well, they all have an upper handguard.

      • avatarChris says:

        M1A is a semi-auto variant of the M14. No differences except select fire option. Most likely banned, right?

  12. avatarAvid Reader says:

    I’ll still get hold of my Senators and let them know what I think. Udall and Bennet are flaming libs, but at least Udall is up for re-election in 2014 and if we can get the point across it might help. On the other hand, if it does come up for a vote and he shows his true colors, it may help him find a new job. My Congresscritter is DeGette. There’s no hope for her, but I’ll let her know what I think anyway.

    At this point, we all can’t afford to relax and let ourselves forget about what goes on at the state level. There’s no shortage of grabbers at the state levels who think Cuomo had the right idea.

  13. avatarHarold says:

    Don’t take anything for granted in this political environment. Contact your reps every week voicing opposition to this and every other anti-2A bill. Any increased legislative or public support of such bills is viewed as a win by the anti-gunners. This is very close to being the most important American Civil Rights battle in the past half-century. The next 12 months are a critical time.

  14. avatarWussface says:

    The bill specifies “Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder” and then goes on to list the Rossi and Taurus Circuit Judge shotguns as being exempt at the end of the bill. You linked the revolver version of the Judge above and said it would be made illegal. Is the revolver considered a shotgun?

    The revolver would be exempt from the Semi-Automatic handgun clause due to the language requiring the portion of energy of a fired cartridge being utilized to EXTRACT the fired case and chamber the next one.

    So is it considered a shotgun??

    • avatarMike S says:

      As I understand it, the rifling keeps the Judge legal at the federal level (would have been an SBS otherwise), and if I had to guess, it would do the same here. Legally, its a 5 shot, .45lc revolver.

      • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

        Would this be illegal, would that be illegal? I got caught up in this questioning myself. But we’re looking at different pressure gauges while the boiler is about to explode. It doesn’t matter which is ok and which is not. We’re letting them define the debate. Our single, unified response shall be: “No, you will not infringe upon our constitutionally protected rights!” End of discussion. Now go back to your cave and hibernate.

  15. avatarHermit says:

    So, what about a Soviet WWII SVT-40? It has a barrel shroud (I think it fits the definition), it’s semi-automatic…so, would it be banned or is it ok because it’s an “antique”?

  16. avatarJay W. says:

    I think her real goal in this effort is getting the “national” magazine capacity reduced to 10 rounds for ANY TYPE OF FIREARM by presenting a practical (i.e. not including some of the things that she made a “stink” about previously) proposal and then be MAGNIMOUS and REASONABLE by compromising on all AR items in the proposal (which she couldn’t get anyway). If she can get even just a magazine reduction from this proposal, she will be thrilled since it is “an initial step in reducing the pool of these items in the future”. Once she gets that, she will continue to repeatedly propose and compromise until years from now she gets everything she wanted anyway.

    From the “Gun Grabbers Playbook”, just get something now and come right back again, get something and repeat, repeat, repeat!

  17. avatarLasorda says:

    The Ruger Gunsite Scout is NOT specifically exempted. The Steyr Scout is.

    • avatarag182 says:

      I wouldn’t be banned anyway. Its a bolt action.

      • avatarBlake says:

        I can almost assure that, should this bill pass, the cops would take the gun, put the owner of the Gunsite Scout in jail and ask questions later. Once out of jail, the owner of the Gunsite Scout, more than likely, becomes the “former owner” because good luck getting back property seized by the cops.

        The picatinny rail, flash suppressor and detachable box magazine make the Ruger look like an evil black rifle.

        By the way, I have a Gunsite Scout, and it is one great shooting rifle. Bolt action or not, the rifle chews through ammunition like it is going out of style.

      • avatarLasorda says:

        That’s true, but there are a whole ream of bolt action rifles that ARE specifically exempted including Ruger’s entire line of bolt guns EXCEPT the Gunsite Scout. I find that odd and disconcerting. I, too, have the RGS. I love it.

  18. avatarSD3 says:

    Nick, you think this bill doesn’t have a chance of passing?!? All those “concessions” Diane made are designed to give political cover for douchebag RHINOs, so they can vote for this POS & then lie that they defend the 2A.

    I’m telling you now, this piece of garbage has an *excellent* chance of passing. Thank God I bought everything I wanted already.

  19. avatarRalph says:

    One thing I’ll say without fear of contradiction: DiFi is a supermodel compared to Caroline McCarthy.

    As for this bill, it certainly can pass the Senate. If Harry Reid allows it to go to the floor, and if the Reps don’t filibuster it, and if the media keeps the heat on, it can pass. Of course, that’s a lot of “ifs.” Well, three, actually. The media portion of the program is absolutely assured, but the rest is purely conjectural at this point.

    Another option is that Reid and McConnell will agree to allow this bill or a similar one to go to the floor but require 60 votes to pass. That’s what they did with national CCW reciprocity a few years ago. If so, it’s a sham vote. While the Dems can muster at least 50 votes for a ban (Biden would be the tiebreaker), they don’t have 60. So the left would get to vote “aye,” the 2A Dems get to vote “no,” the bill dies and the fingerpointing begins.

    Tighten your seatbelts and place your tray tables in the upright and locked position. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    • avatardirk diggler says:

      Word is Harry “Palms” Reid will allow this to be an open amendment bill, which will doom this if true. I say pro-gun senators need to add the repeal GFZ’s, ban NICS checks, defund the ATF, and eliminate secret service and capitol police protections for all members of congress. That”ll kill it

  20. avatarLance says:

    Like storm chaser said keep the pressure on your Reps and Senators and kill the ban.

    Most say even in its neutered form it cant pass the House lets make sure that’s true.

  21. Grandfathering is back, with no restrictions on grandfathered guns

    Except that all transfers of defined weapons would have to go through an FFL. Transfers include every time it goes from your possession to someone else’s, except when loaned at a licensed gun range or given to a prospective buyer for inspection.

    Senator Feinstein made a pretty big stink about registering all of the guns currently in the country and not letting anyone sell them or transfer them, but the bill she filed has none of that.

    It would take 1800 years to process the paperwork to register all of the firearms defined as an ‘assault weapon’

    Even with “high capacity” magazines, grandfathering still applies. So if you have a pre-ban magazine, there are no strings attached.

    Except that you can’t transfer them

    • avatarSD3 says:

      Exactly. When does your property, paid for with currency you earned and paid taxes on, actually become “your property”?

      Apparently, never…

  22. avatarNathan says:

    An anti explained it to me that a barrel shroud makes it easier to bump fire/spray fire/let loose a hail of hollow point armor piercing cop killer bullets faster. Or some stupid shit like that.

  23. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    So no registration or confiscation.

    But it puts hundreds of companies out of business, nice….
    That is what this is an attack on the gun makers. And when the someone kills 20 people with a pistol and ten round magazines, then what? Oh wait that already happened at VA Tech.
    This is nothing more than an attempt to disarm the citizens ability to fight back against an out of control government. Everything else is simply lip service, and will do nothing to reduce crime, or even gun deaths for that matter.

    • I think that if the bill passes, we’ll see some innovation in the modular rifle area which will lead to MORE gun sales. Everybody has to have the latest and greatest. Until that new modular rifle gets out there, more people will have to buy more rifles instead of one lower and a couple of uppers.

      I already had an idea to circumvent the threaded barrel restriction, but she must have read it. I’ll have to come up with something else.

  24. avatarFyrewerx says:

    I’ve not seen any reference in the Bill to “caliber.” It sure seems that something like the S&W M&P AR15/22 hardly fits the description of a “HIGH-POWERED ASSAULT” rifle….. although I admit, it LOOKS scary as hell! j/k

    However, I do note that the Armalite MR15 22LR is “specifically” named as banned. Is this to “punish” Armalite for inventing these scary looking rifles?

  25. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    What about this proposition is laughable. The Second Amendment is 27 words. Feinstein’s bill runs 122 PAGES to eff with it.

  26. avatarMark N. says:

    I noticed too that the bill has been significantly defanged from the snippets of the original bill that were circulating. It seems to have changed since she announced it on Thursday, where she stated that her intent was to reduce the pool of available weapons–suggsting that grandfathering was still in the mix, because the rifles in circulation will remain in circulation for decades to come.
    The question I have is who got to DiFi? She is an egotistical and significantly senior senator who is not known for caving to pressure. No wonder she said that geting a bill passed was a real uphill battle–even her own party is going after her. This version reads a lot more like the Obama/Biden proposal.
    I too have the same question as to whether grandfathering is truly out, but this may be a artifact of the original bill. An FFL, one would assume, is prohibited froom transferring any firearm that constitutes an “assault weapon.” Since this bill requires all transfers not to just go through an FFL but for the gun to be added to the FFL’s inventory, the law could be interpreted as barring transfers of firearms that do not comply with the new restrictions–contrary to the grandfathering provision. This ambiguity will need to be resolved.

  27. avatarMike Hill says:

    Keep contacting your Reps in Washington with a big NO! This is only round one!

  28. avatarMy name is Bob says:

    Keep calling and writing your reps…. I know I am!!! We need to crush this POS bill. Don’t give them an inch, no more compromises, no more restrictions THIS IS WHERE WE HOLD THEM! For Sparta!!! Er… For freedom!!!

  29. avatarDarrell Hacker says:

    I just read the summary of the bill on Feinsteins web site…http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/assault-weapons-ban-summary
    I am not seeing anything about registration.
    Up until today everyone was talking about how grandfathered weapons would have to be registered.
    Is it really true that there will be no registration required?
    What changed?

    • avatarFyrewerx says:

      Maybe she noticed registration is prohibited under Obamacare.

      • avatarFyrewerx says:

        However, Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c. only limits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from collecting information about legally owned firearms and ammunition when implementing “wellness and health promotion activities.”

  30. avatarTony says:

    I have a question. If I had the tax stamp/permit to own a true fully automatic weapon (say and M16), would that weapon be banned under the the 2013 AWB? Seeing how if have the proper permits could they confiscate that weapon?

  31. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    HaHaHaHa, & for christmas santa I want I want a new diesel truck & pool table & new hot tub, Randy

  32. avatarMatt says:

    Suggest we just start re-naming our rifles. Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Rabbit.

  33. avatarRobt. says:

    Everyone is too nice to the “good senator” lol

    I generally call her stupid ***+€{>,!~*{£

    Anyway, here’s a joke:
    What’s the difference between Sen. Feinstein and Albert Einstein?
    A: About 225 IQ Points!!! Lmao all the way to the LGS!

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.