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Senator Feinstein Introduces Assault Weapon Ban Bill; Nutter Says Mayors Will Do Everything Possible to See It Enacted

By Laura DeKoven Waxman
January 28, 2013


In a dramatic and emotional January 24 Capitol Hill press conference, California Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein unveiled legislation to renew and strengthen a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. The Senator briefed the mayors on the bill the week before during the Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. Conference of Mayors President Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter represented the organization in the press conference. Also present was Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association.

“The bill introduced today is the product of more than a year of work, with input from across the country,” Feinstein said. “Getting this bill signed into law will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that—but it’s a battle worth waging. We must balance the desire of a few to own military'style assaults weapons with the growing threat to lives across America. If 20 dead children in Newtown wasn’t a wakeup call that these weapons of war don’t belong on our streets, I don’t know what is.”

“Every day in America, 282 people are shot and 86 of them die, including 32 who are murdered; every day 50 children and teens are shot and eight of them die, including five who are murdered. This must stop,” Nutter commented. “The legislation, which Senator Feinstein and others are introducing this morning, will help to make that happen. I am here to register the strong support of The U.S. Conference of Mayors for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 and to commit our organization to doing everything possible to see it enacted into law.”

Joining Feinstein on January 24 was the bill’s chief sponsor in the House, New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy. Co'sponsors participating in the press conference were Senators Dick Durbin (IL), Charles Schumer (NY), Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Chris Murphy (CT) and Representatives Ed Perlmutter (CO) and Elizabeth Esty (CT). Nine victims of gun violence described briefly what happened to themselves or a family member. Also present were representatives of law enforcement, the medical community, teachers, and gun safety organizations.

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 will:

  • Prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 157 of the most commonly-owned military'style assault weapons and ban an additional group of assault weapons that can accept a detachable ammunition magazine and have one or more military characteristics;

  • Ban large-capacity magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition—devices which allow shooters to fire numerous rounds in rapid succession without having to stop and reload; and

  • Protect the rights of law-abiding citizens who use guns for hunting, household defense or legitimate recreational purposes and exempt all assault weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment from the ban.