It begins at 11 am ET, and it should be a big event. Senator Dianne Feinstein will surround herself with dozens of weapons that her new bill, being introduced today in the Senate, will ban. According to Dana Bash at CNN, she’s learned something from David Gregory, too:
Must see tv at 11a. I'm told difi will have lots of assault weapons at her big event calling for a ban. And yes, she got permission from dc
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) January 24, 2013
Actually, I’m not sure that the DC police would have done anything about it anyway. Article I, Section 6 states clearly that:
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
I guess it could have been considered a felony to have all those weapons together in one place, but if so, doesn’t that undermine the need for the ban? Still, better to get the police informed up front rather than have the DC AG give a lame excuse later for not prosecuting a lawbreaking stunt. Katie Pavlich has more on the substance of Feinstein’s proposal, and this part will be the most contentious:
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.
ATF, ATF … say, wasn’t that the agency that shipped the same weapons over the border without demanding fingerprints, registration, or even an attempt to track them? Sounds like putting a tax cheat in charge of the Treasury. Oh, wait …
As Katie wrote earlier, this basically treats current law-abiding citizens like criminals for conducting perfectly legal transactions in the past. It will, in fact, turn them into criminals at some point if they don’t comply with this intrusive requirement. And that will prevent school shootings how?
Don’t expect that to survive in the Senate anyway. The Hill reports that Harry Reid will open the floor to amendments on the gun bill, perhaps in hope of gutting it without his own fingerprints on the knife:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday pledged to hold an open amendment vote on a major gun reform bill — a move that could trim the scope of the expansive measures being sought by liberal Democrats and gun-control groups.
The decision could significantly increase a bill’s chances of passage, granting centrist senators on both sides of the aisle more leeway to vote safely on specific aspects of gun control that could otherwise haunt them at the polls in 2014. …
The open amendment process also holds the potential to weaken the bill by allowing Republicans to put forward amendments tempering the measure’s strong language and broad reach.
The bill will need 60 votes to pass, don’t forget, even under Harry Reid’s proposed filibuster reform. Right now, with Democrats like Joe Manchin wavering and at least a half-dozen other red-state Democrats having to face voters in 2014, I doubt they can even get a simple majority for this kind of bill.