Democrats introduce sweeping weapons ban - FOX 13 News

Democrats introduce sweeping weapons ban

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's the first look at what a proposed gun ban could look like. 

On Thursday, California Sen. Diane Feinstein revealed her vision of a new bill limiting assault rifles.

"Since the last assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and incidentally in the 10 years it was in place, no one took it to court, more than 350 people have been killed with assault weapons," Feinstein said.

"Today, my colleagues and I are introducing a bill to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of assault weapons," she said.

The proposed bill is more comprehensive than the '94 ban that expired.  This time the bill would not expire and more than 150 named firearms and rifles would be banned.  Magazine ammunition would be limited to 10 rounds.

"Our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again, and again, and again in our country.  Weapons, designed originally for the military to kill large numbers of people in close combat, are replicated for civilian use," Feinstein.

The AR-15 is one of the weapons that would be most affected by the proposed ban.

"It's probably the largest growing segment of the firearms industry," said Shawn Penwell.

Penwell manages a gun store in Tampa.  He said there are millions of these guns in the country right now, some used for competition shooting.  Others are used as a weapon of last defense. 

Many gun owners feel a ban limiting these and other assault weapons is unfair.

"These kinds of bans really are punishing an entire nation for the action of one individual. It's not even a percentage point of the population that does something like this," Penwell said.

Others at the gun range believe a proposed ban limiting larger weapons is right on target.

"Initially, it sounds good to me.  I personally think that, yeah, maybe the guns are a little too easy to get a hold of," said Steem Paulson.

Of course, there are lots of other ideas other than a gun ban. Some people are pushing for more mental health services and stronger screenings for gun owners.

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