The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein in January, was approved this morning, March 14, by the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 10 – 8 vote. In a statement made following the vote, Sen. Feinstein addressed committee members that voted against the bill, asking, “How is this country going to be a weaker country because we don’t produce millions of assault weapons to end up in the hands of gangs, to go for grievance killers?”
Opponents of the bill believe its provisions violate citizens’ rights under the second amendment, hinder the ability of people to defend themselves against violent criminals, and would be ineffective in reducing gun violence in the nation.
Today also marks the three-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which was mentioned several times during the proceedings. Senator Lindsey Graham, an opponent of the bill, said he felt supporters of the bill were focusing on the emotional part of the problem and an assault weapons ban would only create a false sense of safety. He believes there are better, bi-partisan ways to deal with the issue of gun violence.
“The crooks are going to get the guns, and if you ever find yourself having to meet one of these crooks, I want to make sure you can defend yourself.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 grandfathers weapons that are lawfully owned at the time of enactment, and specifically excludes more than 2,000 weapons from the ban. The bill now moves to the full Senate for debate.