Graduate Analysis on Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 & the Return of Feinstein
We interrupt this blog series to share with you a bill analysis on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019.
Some of you may know that I am in my final rounds of higher education. I'm smack-dab in the middle of my doctorate program through Nebraska Methodist. Woo hoo!
Because, you know, I don't have enough going on in my life right now...
My assignment was to analyze a current bill and I had chosen the assault weapons ban.
My analysis: This old dog won't hunt.
Since this audience might appreciate a summary of the attack on your personal freedoms, I thought I would upload the assignment for your enjoyment.
You can see the current state of the bill here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s66
Assignment 3.1: Bill Analysis
S. 66: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019
· Summary of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, has reintroduced Senate bill 66 again. The overview on GovTrack.us says that it is a bill to “regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”
And for other purposes? That’s just a little concerning in my opinion. Let me break the whole thing down for you real quick:
- It bans 205 specific guns by name. When she tried this bill in 2013, the list only contained 158 guns.
- It continues to ban hundreds more with the verbiage “...any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.”
- It bans any gun parts that can turn a semi-automatic into a fully-automatic weapon.
- It does include a Grandfather Clause but still requires a full federal background check for any future ownership transfers, including leaving it grandchildren.
- It requires all Grandfathered weapons to be stored in a vault or with a trigger locking mechanism.
- It will prohibit the transfer of any gun magazines that hold 11+ rounds, period. Once you die, it must be turned in for destruction.
- It bans folding stocks and pistol arm braces.
- Interestingly, it bans products from a specific company called Thordsen.
· Examine the potential impact of this legislation.
There are a ton of potential impacts from this legislation. Let me list the ones I can think of:
● The biggest impact of this kind of bill is that it only keeps weapons out the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still buy and use them. There will just be less law-abiding citizens who could be using them for self-defense.
● #2 above calls out a ban on parts that turn a semi-auto into a fully-auto. It is known and documented in the gun community that a skilled shooter can fire off 700 rounds per minute shooting one bullet at a time. The modified trigger on an M3, for example, once fully automatic still only allows 450 bullets to be fired per minute.
● #4 requires the guns to be locked or kept in a vault. Many of these guns are owned for self-defense. How do you defend against a home invader if your defense weapon is locked up? The Texas gunman was stopped with one of these weapons.
● #8 bans “Thordsen-type grips and stocks” which should make this whole thing unconstitutional. You can call out one company’s products by name.
● It appears to have no Sunset Clause. So if it passed, there would be no end to the ban. The 1994 Federal ban had an end date of 2004.
· Identify bill sponsors and key legislators for this bill.
Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Booker, Cory [D-NJ] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Cardin, Benjamin [D-MD] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Carper, Thomas [D-DE] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Casey, Robert “Bob” [D-PA] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Durbin, Richard [D-IL] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Gillibrand, Kirsten [D-NY] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Harris, Kamala [D-CA] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Hassan, Margaret “Maggie” [D-NH] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Hirono, Mazie [D-HI] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Markey, Edward “Ed” [D-MA] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Menendez, Robert “Bob” [D-NJ] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Merkley, Jeff [D-OR] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Murphy, Christopher [D-CT] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Murray, Patty [D-WA] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Reed, John “Jack” [D-RI] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Sanders, Bernard “Bernie” [I-VT] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Schatz, Brian [D-HI] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Schumer, Charles “Chuck” [D-NY] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Smith, Tina [D-MN] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Warner, Mark [D-VA] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Wyden, Ron [D-OR] (joined Jan 9, 2019), Rosen, Jacky [D-NV] (joined Apr 4, 2019), Kaine, Timothy “Tim” [D-VA] (joined Jun 3, 2019), Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] (joined Sep 9, 2019), Cortez Masto, Catherine [D-NV] (joined Sep 9, 2019), Coons, Chris [D-DE] (joined Sep 12, 2019), Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI] (joined Sep 12, 2019)
Notably, all are Democrats...except for Bernie Sanders.
If the House of Representatives or Senate has already voted on this bill, how did your representative or senator vote?
Senator James Risch
Senator Mike Crapo
Representative Mike Simpson
Representative Russ Fulcher
How might health policy be influenced by this legislation
The Democrats hope that in passing this bill there would be fewer mass shootings. But there is no health policy that I am aware of that relates health policy to automatic weapons.
GovTrack.us. (2020). S. 66 — 116th Congress: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s6
Unfortunately, I wrote this after several blog posts and had my brain in blog post-style formating. So it wasn't well-received outside of a scholarly APA style article. I'm sure it had nothing to do with my opinion. I ended up with a 29 out of 50 points due to formatting.
I have since rebounded back to A grades in all my classes, in case you were concerned :-)
Here are the comments from my professor:
"Scholarly papers use several references to support/ expand viewpoints."
Rubric: Written as a formal paper with title page, introduction, and summary. APA format, professional grammar, punctuation, and spelling utilized throughout written work. References used are appropriately cited. Body of paper is appropriate length (800-1200 words),
0 point given
10 possible points