We are learning some more details about the gun control legislation that Senator Feinstein plans to submit on 3 January 2013. It differs from the old Clinton law in several key aspects, reportedly:
Feinstein’s measure goes beyond its 1994 predecessor in a number of areas:
– It bans “120 specifically-named firearms”
– It lowers the threshold for qualifying assault weapons from having to have “two or more military-style characteristics,” like bayonet holders, to just “one military-style characteristic”
– It bans high-capacity magazines and targets assault weapons and handguns that have the capacity to carry more than 10 rounds
– It would require grandfathered-in owners of assault weapons to undergo background checks
Alright, let’s break this down. We don’t yet know which 120 firearms are specifically named as banned. But 120 is a large number. This provision could put more than a few gun manufacturers out of business. If a small gun-maker has only a few models that are its most popular products, and any or all of those are banned, bankruptcy draws near. Even a large manufacturer could have its bottom line severely impacted. Look for a frenzied sell-off of gun-related stocks in the stock market once the ‘dirty 120′ are announced.
Just one military feature qualifies the gun for banning. We don’t have the list of features yet, but this article asserts that thumbhole stocks and bullet buttons will be banned, but bayonet mounts and flash suppressors will not. Many rifles that are currently ‘ban-compliant’ will become non-compliant.
One of the biggest targets of this legislation is high-capacity magazines: 10 or more rounds in any magazine. The problem here is that, since the expiration of the Clinton ban, the number of hi-cap mags in circulation has skyrocketed. There are easily more than 100 million magazines out there that can take more than 10 rounds. And the 30-round AR-15 magazines are ubiquitous. It seems clear that any legislation at the federal level will make it illegal to buy or sell hi-cap magazines.
What is not clear is whether the grandfather clause that Feinstein mentioned will permit resale, or merely ownership of hi-cap mags. If you don’t buy before the law takes effect, you might not be able to buy any hi-cap mags at all, even ones made before the ban.
Now here is the real sticking point. Supposedly, the grandfathered weapons will need to be registered with the ATF as if they were NFA weapons:
— Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
– Background check of owner and any transferee;
– Type and serial number of the firearm;
– Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
– Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
– Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration (PolicyMic)
I hope the above quoted source is wrong. But even if it is not, the bill is likely to be amended significantly before it is passed. It is not yet certain what any new federal gun control law will contain. But one of the main targets of any such law is likely to be high-capacity magazines. It looks to me as if we will have some kind of severe new gun control law in 2013. And its main provisions are sure to ban or severely restrict hi-cap magazines and military-style rifles. No wonder there has been a sharp increase in sales for magazines and guns in recent days.