By: Jackie Kucinich, USA Today
WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, have reintroduced a bill that would ban assault weapons despite opposition in the Republican-led House and the reluctance of some Senate Democrats.
Feinstein wrote the original assault weapons ban, which became law in 1994 and expired in 2004.
The new bill proposes to:
-- Ban the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of about 150 named firearms, plus certain rifles, handguns and shotguns fitted for detachable magazines and having at least one military characteristic.
-- Strengthen the 1994 ban by moving from a two- to a one-characteristic test to determine what constitutes an assault weapon.
-- Ban firearms with "thumbhole stocks" and "bullet buttons."
-- Ban the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
-- Ban high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
The bill would grandfather in weapons legally owned on the day of enactment and exempts more than 2,000 specific weapons "used for hunting or sporting purposes."
President Obama supports an assault weapons ban among other gun-regulation measures he and Vice President Biden unveiled last week.