When you’re a politician, you can do anything. The people will let you do anything. Grab them by the assault weapons.
The esteemed Senator from the State of California, and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, has reintroduced her signature piece of legislation. It is one that has defined her career in the senate and one that has eluded her since 2004.
Senator Feinstein wants to ban an ethereal category of firearms that doesn’t exist outside of her own mind.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dianne Feinstein sent a series of tweets explaining her motivation for and key provisions of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. The thread can be found here. As of today, the text of the bill has not been posted online, but the press release from Feinstein’s office explains what changes were made from her previous proposal in 2017 to now.
The press release gives the following information:
- Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
- Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
- Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
Exemptions to bill:
- The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
- The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.
Updates to Assault Weapons Ban of 2017**:**
- Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”
- Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.
- Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.
- Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.
For clarity, I will also add sections from the 2017 bill so we understand how the 2019 bill will be worded and so we know exactly what we are dealing with. I will attempt to explain each relevant section and provide as much commentary as possible. Let’s see how unwieldy the following portion of text is…
The term ‘semiautomatic assault weapon’ means any of the following, regardless of country of manufacture or caliber of ammunition accepted:
“(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:
“(i) A pistol grip.
“(ii) A forward grip.
“(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.
“(iv) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.
“(v) A barrel shroud.
“(vi) A threaded barrel.
“(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.
“(C) Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
“(D) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:
“(i) A threaded barrel.
“(ii) A second pistol grip.
“(iii) A barrel shroud.
“(iv) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
“(v) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
“(E) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
“(F) A semiautomatic shotgun that has any 1 of the following:
“(i) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.
“(ii) A pistol grip.
“(iii) A fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds.
“(iv) The ability to accept a detachable magazine.
“(v) A forward grip.
“(vi) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.
“(G) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
“(H) All of the following rifles, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:
“(i) All AK types, including the following:
“(I) AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM.
“(II) IZHMASH Saiga AK.
“(III) MAADI AK47 and ARM.
“(IV) Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S.
“(V) Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS.
“(ii) All AR types, including the following:
“(III) Alexander Arms Overmatch Plus 16.
“(IV) Armalite M15 22LR Carbine.
“(V) Armalite M15–T.
“(VI) Barrett REC7.
“(VII) Beretta AR–70.
“(VIII) Black Rain Ordnance Recon Scout.
“(IX) Bushmaster ACR.
“(X) Bushmaster Carbon 15.
“(XI) Bushmaster MOE series.
“(XII) Bushmaster XM15.
“(XIII) Chiappa Firearms MFour rifles.
“(XIV) Colt Match Target rifles.
“(XV) CORE Rifle Systems CORE15 rifles.
“(XVI) Daniel Defense M4A1 rifles.
“(XVII) Devil Dog Arms 15 Series rifles.
“(XVIII) Diamondback DB15 rifles.
“(XIX) DoubleStar AR rifles.
“(XX) DPMS Tactical rifles.
“(XXI) DSA Inc. ZM–4 Carbine.
“(XXII) Heckler & Koch MR556.
“(XXIII) High Standard HSA–15 rifles.
“(XXIV) Jesse James Nomad AR–15 rifle.
“(XXV) Knight’s Armament SR–15
“(XXVI) Lancer L15 rifles.
“(XXVII) MGI Hydra Series rifles.
“(XXVIII) Mossberg MMR Tactical rifles.
“(XXIX) Noreen Firearms BN 36 rifle.
“(XXX) Olympic Arms.
“(XXXI) POF USA P415.
“(XXXII) Precision Firearms AR rifles.
“(XXXIII) Remington R–15 rifles.
“(XXXIV) Rhino Arms AR rifles.
“(XXXV) Rock River Arms LAR–15.
“(XXXVI) Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles and MCX rifles.
“(XXXVII) SKS with a detachable magazine.
“(XXXVIII) Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles.
“(XXXIX) Stag Arms AR rifles.
“(XL) Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 and AR–556 rifles.
“(XLI) Uselton Arms Air-Lite M–4 rifles.
“(XLII) Windham Weaponry AR rifles.
“(XLIII) WMD Guns Big Beast.
“(XLIV) Yankee Hill Machine Company, Inc. YHM–15 rifles.
“(iii) Barrett M107A1.
“(iv) Barrett M82A1.
“(v) Beretta CX4 Storm.
“(vi) Calico Liberty Series.
“(vii) CETME Sporter.
“(viii) Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C.
“(ix) Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000.
“(x) Feather Industries AT–9.
“(xi) Galil Model AR and Model ARM.
“(xii) Hi-Point Carbine.
“(xiii) HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1, and HK USC.
“(xiv) IWI TAVOR, Galil ACE rifle.
“(xv) Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU–16, and RFB.
“(xvi) SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, Sig Sauer SG 551, and SIG MCX.
“(xvii) Springfield Armory SAR–48.
“(xviii) Steyr AUG.
“(xix) Sturm, Ruger & Co. Mini-14 Tactical Rifle M–14/20CF.
“(xx) All Thompson rifles, including the following:
“(I) Thompson M1SB.
“(II) Thompson T1100D.
“(III) Thompson T150D.
“(IV) Thompson T1B.
“(V) Thompson T1B100D.
“(VI) Thompson T1B50D.
“(VII) Thompson T1BSB.
“(VIII) Thompson T1–C.
“(IX) Thompson T1D.
“(X) Thompson T1SB.
“(XI) Thompson T5.
“(XII) Thompson T5100D.
“(XIII) Thompson TM1.
“(XIV) Thompson TM1C.
“(xxi) UMAREX UZI rifle.
“(xxii) UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine.
“(xxiii) Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78.
“(xxiv) Vector Arms UZI Type.
“(xxv) Weaver Arms Nighthawk.
“(xxvi) Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.
“(I) All of the following pistols, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:
“(i) All AK–47 types, including the following:
“(I) Centurion 39 AK pistol.
“(II) CZ Scorpion pistol.
“(III) Draco AK–47 pistol.
“(IV) HCR AK–47 pistol.
“(V) IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol.
“(VI) Krinkov pistol.
“(VII) Mini Draco AK–47 pistol.
“(VIII) PAP M92 pistol.
“(IX) Yugo Krebs Krink pistol.
“(ii) All AR–15 types, including the following:
“(I) American Spirit AR–15 pistol.
“(II) Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol.
“(III) Chiappa Firearms M4 Pistol GEN II.
“(IV) CORE Rifle Systems CORE15 Roscoe pistol.
“(V) Daniel Defense MK18 pistol.
“(VI) DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol.
“(VII) DPMS AR–15 pistol.
“(VIII) Jesse James Nomad AR–15 pistol.
“(IX) Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol.
“(X) Osprey Armament MK–18 pistol.
“(XI) POF USA AR pistols.
“(XII) Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol.
“(XIII) Uselton Arms Air-Lite M–4 pistol.
“(iii) Calico Liberty pistols.
“(iv) DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol.
“(v) Encom MP–9 and MP–45.
“(vi) Heckler & Koch model SP–89 pistol.
“(vii) Intratec AB–10, TEC–22 Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9.
“(viii) IWI Galil Ace pistol, UZI PRO pistol.
“(ix) Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol.
“(x) The following MAC types:
“(III) Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol.
“(IV) Military Armament Corp. Ingram M–11.
“(V) Velocity Arms VMAC.
“(xi) Sig Sauer P556 pistol.
“(xii) Sites Spectre.
“(xiii) All Thompson types, including the following:
“(I) Thompson TA510D.
“(II) Thompson TA5.
“(xiv) All UZI types, including Micro-UZI.
“(J) All of the following shotguns, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:
“(i) DERYA Anakon MC–1980, Anakon SD12.
“(ii) Doruk Lethal shotguns.
“(iii) Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12.
“(iv) All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following:
“(I) IZHMASH Saiga 12.
“(II) IZHMASH Saiga 12S.
“(III) IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01.
“(IV) IZHMASH Saiga 12K.
“(V) IZHMASH Saiga 12K–030.
“(VI) IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika.
“(vi) Striker 12.
“(K) All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms, including TNW M2HB and FN M2495.
“(L) Any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraphs (A) through (K) can be assembled.
“(M) The frame or receiver of a rifle or shotgun described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (F), (G), (H), (J), or (K).
“(37) The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’—
“(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, including any such device joined or coupled with another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; and
“(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”.
First, I would like you to notice that, contrary to popular belief, the term "assault weapons" is not just limited to semi-automatic rifles. That is the default position of the left. The left has two modes, the first is ban all guns and the second is ban only bad black rifles. We see from the text of the 2017 ban that it goes much further than just semi-auto rifles. It includes pistols and shotguns. When we get into the specifics of what is banned, we see that everything is cosmetic. Most of it is stupid.
Now some of you may say that it’s childish to call this stupid, but this is the eternal frustration of gun owners across America. We get left-wing politicians who pick gun control as their cause célèbre, yet none of them have any idea what they are talking about. It actually pains me to have to explain each point of this stupid proposal, but I see no other option.
Let’s begin with the first 6 points for rifles…
Pistol Grip: A pistol grip makes a rifle easier to hold and handle, especially for women and people who are smaller. It ensures that one can grip the rifle firmly as traditional rifles can be awkward to hold for some people. Aside from those minor considerations, a pistol grip does not result in any functional difference when compared to other rifles with thumb-hole stocks or a traditional grip.
Thordsen Grip: This is a new provision for 2019. These grips are found on California compliant ARs. These grips consist of a skeletal version of a thumb-hole stock and are generally found on ARs. Its inclusion shows that the ban is idiotic and is detached from reality. If a thumb-hole stock is kosher, and a thumb-hole stock is just the functional equivalent of a regular stock, how is a Thordsen Grip any different? And if the Thordsen Grip is really just a swept back pistol grip attached to the stock, why are pistol grips banned? It’s all so stupid. Again, it changes nothing as far as gun operation is concerned.
Forward Grip: Any gun with a picatinny rail or anything else meant for attachments can accept a forward grip. Forward grips of various kinds can improve stability or accuracy. They may make it easier for left-handed people to use a firearm that ejects rounds to the right. If Dianne’s problem is the ability to attach things to a rifle, then she needs to ban every other attachment. Flashlights, lasers, bipods, scopes, sights, and any other piece of “furniture” a person wishes to have should all be illegal if attachments were the problem. And that’s the only justification for banning forward grips.
Folding, telescoping, adjustable, detachable stocks: And so continues the war on women. Telescoping stocks are useful for two main reasons. One, they allow the owner to save a couple inches of storage space or they allow the owner to transport the rifle in a 36in bag instead of a 42in bag. But more importantly, they allow women and people of smaller stature to fire the rifle in a manner that is comfortable and not unwieldy. And as I will point out later, “detachable” as a criteria for banning things is a stupid concept when gun owners have to know how to take guns apart and put them back together.
Grenade launcher or rocket launcher: Feinstein needs to be committed if she thinks gun owners walk around with noob tubes and AR-RPGs. This is surely covered by other laws and heavily regulated by the ATF. I’m sure someone could strap an M-28 Davy Crockett to an AR with duck tape. (Although it is more likely that you would attach the AR to the Davy Crockett) Just because a rifle can “accept” an attachment, it doesn’t mean that there is any legal justification for the ban. Her issue is with picatinny rails then and everything else that might be attached via that very basic mounting system.
Barrel shroud: Sounds stealthy. Except it’s just a part that houses the barrel and serves as the primary grip. Traditional rifles have partially exposed barrels and the user places his non-trigger hand on the wooden fore-end under the barrel.
Threaded barrel: Because flash hiders and suppressors are evil. Except silencers are already regulated differently and flash hiders have very little purpose other than preventing the user from being blinded by his own gun.
Now for pistols…
Threaded barrel: see above
Barrel Shroud: see above
Stabilizing Braces: It’s already a felony to use these braces (meant for the wrist) to shoulder the weapon like a rifle. The ATF already hates you for it. People do it and the ATF is only going to know if you are stupid enough to take a picture.
Forward Grip: Same thing as above. You can’t attach a foregrip to a pistol because the ATF doesn’t like it. Unless you ban the attachments themselves, this is still going to happen.
And lastly, for semi-auto Shotguns:
Folding stock: see above
Pistol grip: see above
Magazine extensions: Shotguns generally come with some kind of plug or limiter in them to reduce the number of shells that can be loaded. This is done in compliance with hunting laws, but the plugs can be removed and extensions can be purchased.
Detachable magazine: a rarity among shotguns.
Forward grip: see above
Grenade/rocket launcher: see above
Revolving cylinder: OOOOH the dreaded striker or street sweeper.
The rest of the bill bans specific firearms by name and then it lists firearms that are exempt (I chose not to include this list). There are several things I would like to note about the banned and exempt guns.
One, she bans the Barrett .50 sniper rifle. And she bans the Ruger mini-14 tactical, but not the Ruger mini-14 itself. The Barrett .50 costs $10k-$13k. Nobody is buying that. The Ruger mini-14 is extremely common and there is no functional difference between the tactical version and the traditional version.
I think there are several observations that must be made regarding the provisions of this bill and the intentions of Senator Feinstein and her co-sponsors.
I think Dianne has played too much Call of Duty. She thinks people are going to be pulling off jump and spin 360 degree no-scope shots with the Barrett .50. She thinks people are going to be running around noob tubing windows with Danger Closer to get that extra splash damage. She thinks that someone is going to spaz out in a crowded space with a 12ga striker that is already regulated by the ATF. She thinks that rocket launchers can be attached to an AR. It’s almost as bad as USA Today’s chainsaw bayonet.
Another fundamental misunderstanding that is exemplified by this bill is utter lack of imagination when it comes to the basic functions of firearms. Sure, they can dream up scenarios where someone puts a tactical nuke on the end of an AR, but they can’t imagine that their stupid provisions are easily skirted because guns are simple technology. But every gun owner has to know how to field strip their firearm in order to clean it and perform routine maintenance. Guns operate with simple mechanical devices. It’s just a bunch of springs, interlocking metal pieces, slides, and the assistance of gas operated parts. People can manufacture their own guns from metal, do they honestly think that altering a spring here or a piece there is not going to happen? You should abide by the laws in your states, but it isn’t rocket science. For example, the bill talks of anything that would increase the rate of fire. Does a softer trigger pull qualify? Guns vary by type, some have a 4-pound trigger pull, others have a 6-pound trigger pull. Some guns can have a 12-pound trigger pull depending on the action. And still, users can purchase springs to get the desired pull. Some swear by a pull so heavy that you can only shoot when you really need to. Some insist on having a pull so smooth that idiots may be inclined to shoot accidentally. That’s all based on a spring. Does this bill cover that?
And what about magazine size? There is a lot of concern regarding detachable magazines. For those in California, this means the dreaded bullet button (feature used to secure the magazine to the firearm). I am assuming that this is where this bill is going. Not only will anything larger than 10 rounds be illegal, but that 10 round mag must be attached to the gun, requiring tools to reload. One, this is simply technology, bullet buttons can be disabled with ease (if it’s illegal in your state to disable them, don’t do it). Two, magazines are just metal boxes with springs in them. Nothing is going to stop criminals from jury-rigging something. More importantly, for those who are inclined to follow these new rules, this bill places a burden on them should they need to use their firearms for self defense of defense of the state. Police officers will attest to the fact that ten rounds of 9mm may not be enough to stop someone, even assuming you hit every shot. That means one would have to reload (or have a larger mag). One can’t reload if you need a special tool to do it. “Please, good robber, don’t rape me, I have to get this bullet button to release my magazine before I resume shooting at you in self-defense.” I want to highlight the second part of this problem. Many state constitutions permit the carrying and use of firearms in defense of the state. Here, Feinstein hasn’t played enough Call of Duty. Let’s say the Russians invade Atlanta, GA. Won’t you be glad that you can’t go out and buy an AR that is of any use because you’ll get only ten rounds and a bullet button? Give me a hundred round mag if I have to defend the state from invasion!
I was truly surprised by the inclusion of shotguns in this bill. We are routinely told that it is only about semi-auto rifles, but I guess they are scared by semi-auto anything. And here’s the rub…What functional difference is there between a semi-auto shotgun and a pump? A few seconds between each shot? If you train with either long enough, it’s not going to matter whether you have to eject each shell or not.
And then there is the grandfather clause. I assume every ban must include this so as to not run afoul of the ex post facto clause of the Constitution, but it is truly curious that they do this out of an obligation to the Constitution, but have no regard for the 2nd amendment. Look, you’re already crapping on the constitution, at least make the bill effective and seize any and all guns that were bought prior to the enactment of this bill. I don’t deny that seizing all guns would stop all gun violence. But they can’t do it. Because there will be a grandfather clause, this just ensures that anyone who wants a soon to be prohibited firearm will buy as many as they want prior to enactment. It doesn’t change the millions of guns that already exist. I can guarantee you that guns sales would skyrocket if this got close to passing.
But with a republican senate and a republican president, this bill is DOA. Still, the co-sponsors may have to worry about 2020. Here is the list of individuals who are willing to grab your guns. I will bold those who may be in the running for 2020. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
Instead of focusing on imaginary assault weapons, I would prefer to see the senate pursue legislation that deals with the following gun related issues:
1: Anti-Social Personality Disorder and Psychopathy (not currently prohibited possessors).
2: Mental Health mandated reporting.
3: Requiring judges to make all prohibited possessor determinations.
4: Requiring hearings for appeal at a higher burden of proof.
5: Prohibited possession among those currently on anti-psychotic medication.
6: Make domestic violence a felony.
7: Better firearm law education for local, state, and federal prosecutors.
8: Loosen privacy requirements for medical and school disciplinary records for minors.
9: Schedules of prohibited possession instead of permanent bans or summary restoration.