by Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Exec. Director
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in,’ I would have done it.”
—U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
It’s been nearly 25 years since Dianne Feinstein uttered those words while discussing the 1994 ban on semi-automatic rifles, handguns and shotguns. With that proclamation, she made clear her ultimate goal is nothing short of confiscation when it comes to firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens.
Of course, the ’94 ban was an absolute failure. Sold to the country—by Feinstein and others—as a means to combat violent crime, a congressionally mandated study of its effectiveness showed it had no impact on crime. After 10 years, the ban ended when Congress wisely chose to not renew it.
Fast-forward a quarter-century since that misguided, ineffective federal semi-automatic ban was enacted, and Feinstein is still in the Senate—and still promoting banning firearms.
Some things never change.
The latest attack on the Second Amendment by California’s senior senator comes in the form of S. 66, which she introduced on Jan. 9. And while she has made changes to what was enacted in 1994, those changes have made a bad old law into a worse proposed new law.
First, she has greatly expanded the number of firearms that would be impacted. The 1994 ban specifically named about two dozen firearms to be designated as “semi-automatic assault weapons.” Feinstein’s S. 66 singles out more than 200 firearms.
It gets worse.
The ’94 generic definition of a “semi-automatic assault weapon” has been expanded to include almost all popular semi-automatic rifles.
And while S. 66 does grandfather in a “semi-automatic assault weapon” if owned prior to the date that the ban’s restrictions take effect, any future transfer of an affected rifle would be subject to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. That includes transferring the rifle as a “sale, gift or loan.”
Do you want to give your spouse one of the affected firearms as a gift? NICS check.