Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) outlined the latest version of her assault weapons ban legsilation Thursday, saying supporters have learned from the failures of the old ban and created a new version aimed at eliminating what she described as military-style weaponry from the American marketplace.
"The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time," Feinstein said. With a wall of guns behind her, she outlined the details of the proposed ban.
• The bill applies to weapons with "one military characteristic," Feinstein said.
"One criticism of the '94 law was that it was a two characteristic test that defined it. And that was too easy to work around. Manufacturers could simply remove one of the characteristics and the firearm was legal. Today it can be moved around removing a one characteristic test," she explained.
• Existing weapons affected by the ban will be subject to background checks if they're sold or transferred, Feinstein said.
"No weapon is taken from anyone," she said.
• The bill includes exemptions for more than 2,000 firearm models "used for hunting or sporting purposes," Feinstein said.
"When we did this bill in '93, there were 375," she said. "Today, there are 2,200."
• There's no 10-year sunset provision on the new proposal. Congress declined to renew the 1994 ban when it expired in 2004.
The future of Feinstein's proposal is unclear, even in the post-Newtown gun control push. Though President Obama has put his support behind a ban and gun control groups hailed it Thursday, the focus of the effort to curb gun violence after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting has been on creating universal background checks for firearms purchases. Gun control advocates acknowledge an assault weapons ban is a tough sell in the GOP-controlled House and have put their efforts behind background checks instead.