Feinstein's Boondoggle

December 28th, 2012

So, here's the draft for Dianne Feinstein's new gun control bill.

We're looking at a ban on 120 specific weapons, as well as a ban of "certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics." I'm guessing STANAG 2324 rails will be one of those "military characteristics," which will pretty much cover most modern handguns. She also made sure to add thumbhole stocks to the list of banned features (I can't say I'll particularly miss those).

The interesting part is the clause for grandfathering. Under her bill, I'd be able to keep pre-existing specimens of banned firearms, but I'd have to register them through the NFA. Who covers the payroll for that? We're talking about millions of weapons.

And for what? I'd be surprised if we had anything close to the compliance rates of similar initiatives in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, all of which were around 20%.

In her support, she quotes studies by George Mason professor Christopher Koper, who's long been funded by the Joyce Foundation. Even he has trouble proving that the original Assault Weapons Ban had much of an effect. In fact, the NIJ study [pdf] she provides in support finds evidence "tenuous" at best.

If she'd gone for one simple thing, such as a moratorium on high-capacity AR-15 magazines, she might have had a chance. This bill is too comprehensive, too big, and too costly to meet with approval.

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