As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.
The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:
"Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
— 120 specifically-named firearms;
— Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
— Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
"Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
— Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test;
— Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test; and
— Banning firearms with "thumbhole stocks" and "bullet buttons" to address attempts to "work around" prior bans.
"Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
"Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
— Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
— Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
— Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons."