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Dianne Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban LIVE: Historic Gun Control Measure Faces Stiff Opposition

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A List Of All 150 Weapons Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban

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Joe Manchin to Introduce Universal Background Checks Gun Bill

In the wake of Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban, and Barack Obama's 23 executive orders on gun control, there are other gun measures that Congress is moving forward with.

One notable piece of legislation: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday that he was working on a bill with Senate colleagues and the National Rifle Association (NRA) that would implement universal background checks, a major component of President Obama's proposed gun-control reforms.

Manchin, a member of the NRA, had not previously endorsed any specific measures to address gun violence, specifically Feinstein's bill. 

"I’m working on a bill right now with other senators — Democrats and Republicans — we’re trying to get it, and looking at a background check that basically says that if you’re going to be a gun owner, you should be able to pass a background check, to be able to get [universal background checks]," Manchin told Metro News radio's "Talkline," in an interview reported by The Washington Post.

Dianne Feinstein Invites Rev. Canon Gary Hall to Pray Before Gun Speech: Suddenly It's God vs. the NRA

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is on an anti-gun crusade. 

So much so that before her remarks on Thursday regarding the new assault weapons ban she hopes to pass, she invited Dean of the National Cathedral Rev. Canon Gary Hall to offer a prayer.

During the prayer, Hall asked God to “bless our elected leaders with the wisdom and the courage needed to bring about the changes that the people demand.”

"Everyone in this city seems to live in terror of the gun lobby," Hall said. "But I believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."

Suddenly it's God vs. the NRA.

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Assault Weapons Ban Is Dead On Arrival in the Senate

Could the new Dianne Feinstein assault weapons ban even pass?

The legislation looks to be stillborn as it is introduced to the Senate on Thursday.

Democrats control 55 out of 100 votes in the Senate, and barring a significant change to the filibuster rule (which Senate leaders have said they wanted), supporters of the gun control measure would need all of those votes, PLUS five Republican votes, just to pass the bill. And that's only in the Senate.

Feinstein may not even have full Democratic support in the Senate: At least five Senate Democrats have declined to take a position on the president's proposal, and there is only one Republican in the Senate, Mark Kirk (Ill.), who supports an assault weapons ban.

Would the bill even make it to the Senate floor? Maybe not.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that he wouldn't allow a vote on an assault weapons ban of any sort, since it would not pass the GOP-led House. A vote for gun control could be political suicide for Democrats, especially Dems in gun-friendly states up for reelection in 2014.

On Tuesday, Reid signaled that he may allow a vote, though he made clear that he did not expect the measure to pass. Reid, a longtime supporter of gun rights, said he expected the Senate Judiciary Committee to produce a bill after its hearings on gun control, which begin next week.

"It may not be everything everyone wants," he told reporters. "But I hope it has stuff that is really important."

And then there is the Republican-controlled House, which would rip to shreds any gun ban  sent to it by the Senate.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is the only Republican in the House who has signaled an openness to an assault weapons ban; a handful of other Republicans have said they are open to some gun control measures, though many have pushed a focus on mental health and enforcing existing laws.

Feinstein's bill may be used to give lawmakers from gun-friendly states a measure to oppose before they support the less ambitious bill that comes out of the Judiciary Committee.

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Obama Supports Dianne Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban

On January 16, President Barack Obama introduced his own gun control efforts, acting unliaterally with 23 executive orders.

The president said in a news conference that he’d use “the weight of his office” to enact 23 executive actions and push Congress to pass more comprehensive gun control policies, including stricter background checks.

The list also includes such actions as requiring federal agencies to hand over relevant data for a background check system; providing law enforcement officials, first responders and school officials with better training for active shooting situations; directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence; and many more.

Obama is also pushing for the ATF to get a director immediately. Interesting fact: Not a single ATF director has been confirmed by the Senate since 1970.

The White House opted not to send its own gun control bill to Capitol Hill after Obama's announcement; it says it supports Feinstein's effort and has worked with her office in crafting the new version.

Yet there is little reason to believe that the measure could pass the GOP-led House ... and it may well not even be able to get through the Democrat-led Senate.

Dianne Feinstein Technically Broke DC Laws Displaying Assault Weapons

During Thursday's announcement of a new assault weapons ban, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) displayed guns as props during her. However, the guns on display break Washington, D.C., gun laws- as reported by CNN. 

Sen. Feinstein got special permission and does not have to abide by the law. 

The D.C. gun ban gained media attention in a weird incident in December, when Meet the Press host David Gregory brandished a high-capacity gun magazine while in the midst of interviewing the National Rifle Association's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. Originally intended to prove a point, Gregory's gutsy move not only captured the attention of the national audience, but also landed him at the center of a police investigation.

After the show aired from its Washington, D.C., studio, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) opened an investigation concerning the legality of possessing such a magazine within the district.

If charged, it appears that Gregory faces a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and no more than one-year in prison.

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Dianne Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban LIVE: Historic Gun Control Measure Faces Stiff Opposition

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) unveiled a new assault weapons ban on Thursday, a major piece of legislation that is supported by President Obama, but which has come under heavy criticism from gun advocates.

The bill would go further than the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2005. That ban required that a gun meet two categories to be banned. This new piece of legislation requires a gun to meet only one category.

Feinstein said the ban would “help end countless mass shootings which have devastated families and terrorized communities.”

A live stream of the press conference is here

Feinstein's new bill, which will be introduced Thursday in the Senate, among other things proposes to:

- Ban the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of about 150 named firearms, plus certain rifles, handguns and shotguns fitted for detachable magazines and having at least one military characteristic.

- Strengthen the 1994 ban by moving from a two- to a one-characteristic test to determine what constitutes an assault weapon.

- Ban firearms with "thumbhole stocks" and "bullet buttons."

- Ban the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

- Ban high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The bill would grandfather in weapons legally owned on the day of enactment and exempts over 900 specific weapons "used for hunting or sporting purposes."

Feinstein first got involved with gun control 34 years ago, when San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the nation's first openly gay elected official, were murdered by disgruntled former city supervisor Dan White.

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