Key Provisions Of Feinstein’s New AWB (Updated)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reintroduced her assault weapon ban yesterday. It is S. 66 and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill has 28 co-sponsors – 27 Democrats and one Independent (Bernie Sanders).

The full text is not yet available. However, from Feinstein’s press release we can see she aiming wide and deep.

Key provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.


  • Bans 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. Owners may keep existing weapons.

  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.


  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

Other provisions:

  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.


  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.

  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Updates to Assault Weapons Ban of 2017:

  • Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”


  • Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.

  • Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.

  • Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.

I had to look up Thordsen-type grips. She is referring to stocks and grips from Thordsen Customs which are meant to allow firearms to be California and New York compliant.

You can tell by the updates to her AWB of 2017 that she is after any adjustable stock and AR-pistols with or without a stabilizing brace.

Looking at the Key Provisions, firearms like the Ruger PCC pistol caliber carbine would be banned as it has a threaded barrel. I think she learned her lesson from the original AWB which allowed no more than two features. Not that I think this bill will pass the Senate but I could foresee the development of pump carbines that feed from a detachable magazine. Remington used to have such a rifle called the Model 7615. You can see an example here.

It will be interesting to read the full text of this bill when it is published. To get an idea you might want to look at her 2017 version.

UPDATE: Ryan Cleckner, attorney and former Director of Governmental Affairs for NSSF, has this analysis of the Feinstein’s new AWB. Given his background in the industry and his shooting background, it is well worth a read.

UPDATE II: Ryan informs me that he has now read the actual text of the bill and has more comments on it. He thinks it is even more dangerous than before.

California Sued By Coalition Of Gun Rights Groups Over AWB Registration Disasters

The Second Amendment Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and the Firearms Policy Foundation have come together to sue the California Department of Justice, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the head of the California Bureau of Firearms. Their complaint, filed in Shasta County Superior Court, is a constitutional challenge to the bullet button registration system and a writ of mandamus requiring the state to allow people to register as required under state law. That last bit might sound confusing but people had until July 1st to register their bullet buttons. The only problem is that many people were not able to do so because the system crashed. It’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.

From their joint release:

The lawsuit argues that DOJ’s “bullet-button assault weapon” registration system was defective, often “crashing” completely, and the various failures prevented many gun owners from complying with the laws—potentially turning people into felons overnight.

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 11, 2018) — Today, attorneys for three gun owners and four civil rights organizations filed a new lawsuit and petition for writ of mandate that claims California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his Department of Justice (DOJ) violated their civil rights protected under the state and federal constitutions. A copy of the complaint can be viewed or downloaded at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/sharp.

The lawsuit, captioned Harry Sharp, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., is supported by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF). Named as defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Acting Chief of the DOJ Bureau of Firearms, Brent E. Orick, and the California Department of Justice itself. The plaintiffs are represented in the case by attorneys George M. Lee and Douglas Applegate, as well as Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, a former California deputy attorney general and prosecutor.

“Many people, including our clients, did everything they could to comply with the law and avoid criminal liability,” commented Lee. “They used updated web browsers, hardware, different devices, and even did internet speed tests to make sure it wasn’t a problem on their end. The DOJ’s crashed system is a reflection of their cascading failures to build a system and allow people to register their guns before July 1 if that’s what they wanted to do.”

The complaint says the plaintiffs “seek an un-extraordinary result, compelled by the basic tenets of due process: That they simply be allowed to register their eligible firearms and comply with the law, and that the Attorney General, the DOJ, and their officers and agents similarly comply with the law by allowing such registrations and ensuring they are properly and timely processed through a functioning online database as they have been required by statute to do.”

Under California’s voluminous gun control laws, someone merely transporting an unregistered “assault weapon” to the shooting range – even if one believes it was legal and registered under other DOJ systems, like DROS – “is guilty of a felony” and possibly subject to a prison sentence of “four, six, or eight years.” Other crimes can be added on to that, including common separate charges like possession and manufacturing.

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra seems to care about everything but the constitution, the rule of law, and law-abiding California gun owners,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “If Becerra spent as much time doing his job as he does talking about his pet crusades against the federal government, hundreds of thousands of Californians would not be in legal jeopardy right now.”

“We’re suing because California DOJ’s Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) broke down during the deadline week for people to register their firearms in accordance with new state laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For a whole week the system was largely inaccessible, so people who wanted to comply with the law simply couldn’t and now they face becoming criminals because they couldn’t do what the law requires.”

“Predictably the state of California wants to take guns away from the law abiding. In this instance they couldn’t even build a working system to respect gun owners’ rights,” explained CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “We simply want to allow those who want to comply with the law to have more time with a working registration system.”

“It’s like a bad version of ‘Catch-22’,” Gottlieb observed. “The government required registration by the deadline, but the online registration failed and people couldn’t register. They’re required to obey the law, but the system broke down, making it impossible to obey the law. Now these people face the possibility of being prosecuted. We simply cannot abide that kind of incompetence.”

“Once again, the DOJ and Attorney General Becerra unlawfully and unconstitutionally moved the goal posts on peaceful, law-abiding gun owners,” observed FPF Vice President Jonathan Jensen. “Their failures should not result in people going to prison and losing their property.”

Combs noted that the case is not an endorsement of firearm registration, which carries its own risks, as many news reports have shown.

“Gun owners had a right to decide how they would approach these serious legal issues,” explained Combs. “Attorney General Becerra and his DOJ denied gun owners the opportunity to exercise their rights and make an informed choice, forcing them into the sights of fascist, hyper-aggressive special agents who kick in doors and put gun owners in jail. That’s completely unacceptable and totally deplorable.”

Californians who tried to register their firearms as “assault weapons” before July 1 but were unable to should contact the Legal Action Hotline immediately at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline or by telephone at 855-252-4510.

Good News – A Win In Illinois

Daniel Easterday, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Illinois State Rifle Association scored a win today in Lake County Circuit Court when they were granted a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of Deerfield’s assault weapon (sic) and magazine ban. The ban which was scheduled to go into effect tomorrow (June 13th) would have levied an up to $1,000 a day fine plus surrender of the firearm for each day the person violated the ordinance.

Congratulations to Glen Ellyn (IL) attorney David Sigale who served as second chair in the monumental McDonald v. Chicago case.

Both SAF and ISRA issued releases on this win.

First, from SAF:

A circuit court judge in Lake County, Illinois has granted an injunction against the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, blocking the village from enforcing a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and handing a victory to the Second Amendment Foundation.

SAF was joined in the lawsuit by the Illinois State Rifle Association and Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday, who is a lawful firearms owner. SAF and ISRA had challenged the ban on the grounds that it violates the state’s preemption law that was adopted in 2013. That change amended state statute that declared “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid…”

There was a short grace period during which municipalities in the state could change or adopt their gun laws, and Deerfield maintained that its ban was merely an amendment to an earlier ordinance that regulated firearms.

“We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flew in the face of state law,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The village tried to disguise its extremism as an amendment to an existing ordinance. The ordinance bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.

“Worse, still,” he added, “the ordinance also provided for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines. It was outrageous that the ban would levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”

Plaintiffs were represented by Glen Ellyn attorney David Sigale.

And now from ISRA:

The Illinois State Rifle Association is pleased to announce the issuing of a Temporary Restraining Order preventing Deerfield Illinois from enforcing their anti-gun ordinance. We will now seek a permanent injunction.

Deerfield Sued Over Gun Ban By ISRA And SAF

The Village of Deerfield, Illinois passed an ordinance on Monday, April 2nd, that would ban “assault weapons” (sic) and standard capacity magazines. The ordinance contains a $1,000 a day fine for each day the items remain within the limits of the village. According to the ordinance posted on the village’s website, it becomes effective immediately but gives residents 60 days to remove the firearms and magazines.

As reported by CBS News:

The ordinance states, “The possession, manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the Village of Deerfield is not reasonably necessary to protect an individual’s right of self-defense or the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.”


So, beginning June 13, banned assault weapons in Deerfield will include semiautomatic rifles with a fixed magazine and a capacity to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, shotguns with revolving cylinders, and conversion kits from which assault weapons can be assembled. And those are just a few of the firearm varieties banned. The list is long and includes all the following models or duplicates thereof: AK, AKM, AKS, AK-47, AK-74, ARM, MAK90, Misr, NHM 90, NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR, AR-10, AR-15, Bushmaster XM15, Armalite M15, Olympic Arms PCR, AR70, Calico Liberty, Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle, Dragunov SVU, Fabrique NationalFN/FAL, FN/LAR, FNC, Hi-Point Carbine, HK-91, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle, SAR-8, Sturm, Ruger Mini-14, and more.

You will note that the Ruger Mini-14 is included in the ban. Many other earlier bans specifically excluded it.

In response, the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed suit against the Village of Deerfield in state court. According to their email alert:

The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) have filed a lawsuit against the Village of Deerfield this morning, April 5, 2018. This legal action is a challenge to the Defendant’s Ordinance O-18-06, passed on April 2, 2018, which bans assault weapons (used specifically as that term is defined in O-18-06) within the Defendant’s municipal limits.

The suit was filed In the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Lake County, Illinois, Chancery Division.

If you want to donate to the ISRA Legal Assistance Committee, you can donate here. ISRA’s LAC is a 501(c)(3) so it would be tax deductible.

I will have more up on the suit once I can get a copy of the complaint.

UPDATE: Below is the release from the Second Amendment Foundation on the lawsuit, Easterday et al v. Deerfield.

BELLEVUE, Wash., April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit against the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois seeking an injunction against enforcement of the ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines” adopted by the Village Board of Trustees earlier this week.

Joining SAF in the legal challenge is the Illinois State Rifle Association and a private citizen, Daniel Easterday, who resides in the village and is a gun owner. The lawsuit was filed in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County. Plaintiffs are represented by Glen Ellyn attorney David Sigale.

The lawsuit challenges the village ban under a 2013 amended state statute that declared “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid…”

“We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flies in the face of state law,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “While the village is trying to disguise this as an amendment to an existing ordinance, it is, in fact, a new law that entirely bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.

“The new ordinance also provides for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines,” he added. “What is particularly outrageous about this new law is that it levies fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refuses to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village by the time the ordinance takes effect in June. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.'”

The Most Common Rifle In America Not Protected By The Second Amendment

In a ruling today, US District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake, a Clinton appointee, said that AR-15s and semi-automatic AK-47s were not protected by the Second Amendment. Her opinion came in a Maryland case, Kolbe et al v. O’Malley et al, in which the plaintiffs were challenging the state’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013.

Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.

First, the court is not persuaded that assault weapons are commonly possessed based on the absolute number of those weapons owned by the public. Even accepting that there are 8.2 million assault weapons in the civilian gun stock, as the plaintiffs claim, assault weapons represent no more than 3% of the current civilian gun stock, and ownership of those weapons is highly concentrated in less than 1% of the U.S. population.

The court is also not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ claims that assault weapons are used infrequently in mass shootings and murders of law enforcement officers. The available statistics indicate that assault weapons are used disproportionately to their ownership in the general public and, furthermore, cause more injuries and more fatalities when they are used.

As for their claims that assault weapons are well-suited for self-defense, the plaintiffs proffer no evidence beyond their desire to possess assault weapons for self-defense in the home that they are in fact commonly used, or possessed, for that purpose.

Finally, despite the plaintiffs’ claims that they would like to use assault weapons for defensive purposes, assault weapons are military-style weapons designed for offensive use, and are equally, or possibly even more effective, in functioning and killing capacity as their fully automatic versions.

Plaintiffs in the case included the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Maryland Shall Issue, the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, the Maryland Licensed Firearm Dealers Association, a number of businesses, and individuals Stephen Kolbe and Andrew Turner. The defendants included Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D-MD), and the Maryland State Police.

In reaching her conclusions, Judge Blake relied extensively on the testimony of such anti-gun stalwarts as Prof. Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Christoper Koper of George Mason University, the Violence Policy Center, and Lucy Allen of NERA. She even accepted as valid a database maintained by Mother Jones Magazine. She refused the plaintiffs’ motion to exclude their testimony as flawed.

Judge Blake clearly indicates by her footnote on page 24 that she does not understand the difference between a M-16 and an AR-15. Indeed, she considers the AR-15 to be more dangerous.

The Supreme Court indicated in Heller I that M-16 rifles could be banned as dangerous and unusual. 554 U.S. at
627. Given that assault rifles like the AR-15 are essentially the functional equivalent of M-16s—and arguably more
effective—the same reasoning would seem to apply here.

Applying intermediate scrutiny to the case, Judge Blake concludes:

In summary, the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, which represents the considered judgment
of this State’s legislature and its governor, seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law
enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault
weapons and large capacity magazines. The Act substantially serves the government’s interest in
protecting public safety, and it does so without significantly burdening what the Supreme Court
has now explained is the core Second Amendment right of “law-abiding, responsible citizens to
use arms in defense of hearth and home.” Accordingly, the law is constitutional and will be
upheld.

In looking at this ruling, it is time to call a spade a spade. This is a bullshit ruling by an extremely biased, anti-gun judge. It should and must be appealed.

A Loss In Connecticut

Senior District Court Judge Alfred V. Covello ruled in favor of the State of Connecticut in upholding their assault weapons ban and other restrictions. The case, Shew et al v. Malloy et al, was brought by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and others challenging the law enacted after the Newtown shootings.

Gun control advocates were buoyed Thursday by a federal court decision in Hartford that upholds Connecticut’s toughest-in-the-nation assault weapons ban, calling it a constitutionally valid means of balancing gun rights and the government’s interest in reducing gun violence.


“The court concludes that the legislation is constitutional,” senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello wrote in a decision published late Thursday. “While the act burdens the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, it is substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control.”

Just quickly glancing over the opinion that can be found here, it appears that Judge Covello used intermediate scrutiny to decide in favor of Connecticut and relied upon the 2nd Circuit’s ruling in Kachalsky v. Cacace.

From the article in the Hartford Courant, it appears that Judge Covello bought into much of the anti-gun nonsense that Connecticut used to defend the law.

Covello, agreeing with the plaintiffs, concluded that the weapons and magazines are commonly owned and legally used in Connecticut and elsewhere. But he parted company with the plaintiffs when he wrote that the state’s ownership and sales ban is justified when the government’s goal of reducing violence is measured against the ban’s impingement on Second Amendment rights.

The Second Amendment rights of gun owners are adequately protected by the large number of alternate weapons that can be used for protection, hunting and sports events, he wrote.

On several occasions, Covello adopted the state’s arguments that assault weapons are designed, not for cosmetic purposes, but for “lethality.” And he referred to an affidavit by a state expert who asserted that “Connecticut’s bans on assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and particularly its ban on (large capacity magazines), have the potential to prevent and limit shootings in the state over the long run.”

Covello was appointed to the bench for the District of Connecticut by Pres. George H. W. Bush in 1992.