Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pledged to include an assault weapons ban in any legislation designed to improve gun safety and insisted, during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, that “we do have support” for such a provision.
The California Democrat, who introduced legislation banning 150 assault weapons earlier this week, conceded that the ban would present an “uphill fight,” but said that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has promised that she could introduce the proposal as an amendment should it not be included in the comprehensive gun safety bill that advances to the Senate floor:
FEINSTEIN: This has been an uphill fight. This has never been easy. This is the hardest of the hard. Now, will it only be assault weapons? No. Most likely there will be a package put together. If assault weapons is left out of the package and I’m a member of the Judiciary number two in seniority. I’ve been assured by the Majority Leader I will be able to do it as an amendment on the floor. Which is the way I did it in 1993. So that doesn’t particularly bother me. [...]
Do military style assault weapons belong on the streets of our cities? And the answer, according to the United States Conference of Mayors, according to the major chiefs of police, according to the largest police organization in the world, is absolutely no. So we do have support. Don’t mistake it.
Feinstein attributed the tepid support for a ban in the Senate to the National Rifle Association, which she called “venal” and said will come after Senators and “put large amounts of money together to defeat you.”
The senator also agreed that armed security may help prevent school shootings, noting that “one-third of the schools in America today have school guards.” But, she insisted, “having school guards really isn’t the whole answer. The more you have these weapons, these military style weapons that with the single stock of the AR-15 can be made fully automatic, the minute you have it in the Sandy Hook killer’s hands, you have a devastating weapon.”