Die-Anne Feinswine’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 is out. It’s worth a read. In some respects it’s much like its 1994 predecessor, only more so. Particularly in that it isn’t a ban. Hang on to that thought.
The first section sets up definitions. “Assault weapons” become pretty much any semiautomatic firearm with a detachable magazine and any 1 of several other features: pistol grip, pistol grip (specifically includes thumbhole stocks), forward grip, barrel shroud, adjustable stock, shoulder thing that goes up, threaded barrel, and so forth. Pistols specifically have their own characteristics, which you can guess from Feinstein’s previous ranting.
She got smart on one point. Back in the ’90s, manufacturers simply redesigned platforms to conform to the law (which she fein-whined was taking advantage of a “loophole”). This time she remembered to ban any variant of pages of specified firearms. So gun makers can’t take an AR-15 and saw off the pistol grip or weld the magazine in place and call it an AR-15PB (post-ban).
They’ll have to give it a new model number series. I suggest the UYDF-17. You can figure it out.
Then she gets to the ban-that-isn’t.
Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—
(v) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession, sale, or transfer of any semiautomatic assault weapon otherwise lawfully possessed under Federal law on the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.
Yes, existing gear is grandfathered. As before, her “assault weapon ban” doesn’t ban a single firearm, and — gun owners having learned the lesson of her last attempt — have far more “assault weapons” on hand than they did in 1994.
Standard capacity magazines are next to not-go, with similar language merely banning future manufacture or importation of detachable magazines with capacity greater than 10 rounds, existing magazines grandfathered.
Government entities are all exempted, of course.
Up next, “safe storage.” Yeah, if you aren’t carrying it, or have it within arms reach, lock it up. Unloaded. Ammunition elsewhere. Feinstein really hates children.
“High capacity” magazines for government are going to get more expensive, but hey: taxpayers have deep pockets. New “assault weapons” and magazines must be serial-numbered and marked with date of manufacture.
She then inserts 90-some pages of specific firearms that are exempted from this law’s restrictions, which strikes me as stupid because the ones I recognize don’t fit her “assault weapon” definition anyway. She never was that bright.
Transfers of grandfathered “assault weapons” would have to go through an FFL. A private seller has to turn it over to the FFL, who has to enter it into his inventory records. The buyer will have to fill out a 4473, just as if the firearm were being purchased from the FFL, and be run through NICS. There is no exemption for gifts or loans, even between family members.
She’ll graciously allow you to let the buyer handle it for pre-purchase inspection without the FFL and NICS check. Oh, goody.
Now back to that thought I started with; why a ban that isn’t a ban? She did that before, and we know how that turned out.
- Strictly by the numbers, crimes committed with firearms fitting the ’94 definition of “assault weapon” did go down. But it was statistically meaningless because those firearms were always rarely used by criminals. It’s like a town that saw one case of measles one year, then had 100% percent increase the next when two siblings get the measles. Statistically meaningless in a town of a couple hundred thousand or more.
- Overall, firearms crime remained roughly the same. A few more hand gun crimes compensated for “assault weapons.”
- A frickin’ huge number of evil, wicked “assault weapons” were transferred in panic-buying before the ’94 ban went into effect. So the imminent law had the effect of a subsidy for firearm manufacturers and dealers.If Feinstein — or her staffers/handlers — have a brain amongst them, they know this. They know every time someone makes serious banning noises (Obama election sound familiar?) sales skyrocket. “Gun Salesman of the Year.” Prices go through the roof.
We know Feinstein isn’t bright. But is she crazy? Or is she taking brib campaign contributions from the evil gun industry?
Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!