WASHINGTON — California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein staged a dramatic press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with 10 weapons at her side and unveiled legislation instituting a government ban on more than 150 types of firearms, including rifles, pistols and shotguns.
Flanked by other anti-gun liberal lawmakers, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Feinstein announced the introduction of the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.”
The legislation being pushed by Feinstein — who has long history of calling for gun bans — would prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of certain firearms.
During the press event at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Democrats described these firearms as “dangerous military-style assault weapons.” The bill would also ban high-capacity ammunition feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Feinstein said the country’s “weak” gun laws allow massacres like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occur.
“Getting this bill signed into law will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that — but it’s a battle worth having,” Feinstein said in literature handed to reporters at the Thursday event.
Others who joined the Democrats for the press conference included Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Washington National Cathedral dean Gary R. Hall.
This sort of stunt from Feinstein — displaying weapons for dramatic effect while discussing new gun laws — is hardly new. Joe Morrissey, a Democratic delegate in Virginia, caught some colleagues by surprise last week by bringing an AK-47 onto the floor of the House of Delegates while calling for gun control.
And David Gregory, the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” found himself in hot water for displaying a high-capacity gun magazine during an interview with a leader of the National Rifle Association in December. NBC studios are in Washington D.C., where having possession of such magazines is illegal. While DC police investigated the incident, no charges were filed.