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.’