Feinstein Gets Her Way

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) got her assault weapons ban (sic) – S. 150 – out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today on a 10-8 party line vote. It now goes to the full Senate.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) offered four amendments to the bill which were all defeated on an 8-10 party line vote. His amendments would have made exceptions for those in rural areas; for those who had obtained a protective order; for those who certified they were the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking; and for those people who were residents in a county or municipality that borders Mexico to protect themselves against the narco-terrorists. I think Cornyn’s intention was to put the Democrats on record as anti-rural, anti-woman, and anti-self defense.

The votes on Jane Kelly to be an Appeals Court judge in the 8th Circuit and on Kenneth Gonzales to be a District Court judge in New Mexico were held over.

 The results of the business meeting as reported are below:

Results of Executive Business Meeting – March 14, 2013
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to consider pending nominations and legislation on March 14, 2013.


I. Nominations

Jane Kelly, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit
Held Over

Kenneth John Gonzales, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico
Held Over

II. Legislation

S. 150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)
Ordered Reported by Roll Call Vote, 10-8

Amendment ALB13181 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

Amendment OLL13116 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

Amendment OLL13117 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

Amendment OLL13118 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

The webcast of the meeting for anyone with the stomach enough to watch it is here.

UPDATE: According to Politico, the White House is urging swift action on Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say:

“Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary committee voted to send the full Senate an important piece of legislation to help keep weapons of war off America’s streets,” Carney said Thursday. “As you know, banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is an important piece of the president’s plan to reduce gun violence.

“We urge congress to swiftly vote on and pass this legislation and other common-sense measures like requiring a background check for all gun purchases and cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchasers. There’s been significant progress this week on these proposals and the president welcomes that. We urge congress to keep it up.”

Frankly every time I hear the words “common sense” out of Jay Carney or President Obama’s mouth, I shudder at the perversion of the English language.

Senate Judiciary Committee Meets Again

Last Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee met to vote on nominees for various judgeships and on a whole host of gun control bills. They ran out of time and only passed out S. 54 which is Sen. Leahy’s bill on “gun trafficking”.

Today they will continue this meeting. US Attorney for New Mexico Kenneth Gonzales will be back on the agenda as the nominee for a District Court judgeship for the District of New Mexico. Also on the agenda are the three gun control bills that they didn’t vote on last week.

As an aside, Chuck Schumer’s S. 374 – Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 – still doesn’t have an action component to the bill. It still reads more like a resolution than a bill.


A continuation of the March 7, 2013 Executive Business Meeting has been scheduled by the Committee on the Judiciary for Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:15 a.m., in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

By order of the Chairman.


Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
March 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

I. Nominations

Kenneth John Gonzales, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico

II. Bills

S.150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)

S.374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (Schumer)

S.146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (Boxer)

The Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 14th, on a similar agenda.

Senate Judiciary Committee Votes On Gun Control Tomorrow

The Senate Judiciary Committee will have an executive business meeting tomorrow morning at 10am. There are a number of items that should be of concern to those concerned with the Second Amendment and gun rights.

The first item on the agenda is a confirmation vote on six nominees for US District judgeships. Of particular concern is Kenneth John Gonzales to be a District Court judge for the District of New Mexico. Gonzales is currently the US Attorney for New Mexico and the man behind the egregious prosecution of the Reese family of Deming, NM on charges of arms smuggling. They have already been found not guilty on 24 out of 28 charges and are seeking dismissal of the other four charges due to prosecutorial misconduct.

National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and the Firearms Coalition’s Jeff Knox have been doing yeoman’s work in covering this case since the beginning. Here are a couple of their latest reports. The Tea Party of Luna County (NM) has been on the case since the beginning as well.

Based on the prosecution’s behavior under Gonzales, I and many others feel he is unfit to sit on the bench. David Codrea is urging that people contact Sen. Chuck Grassley R-IA) to make their opposition known.

The other major items on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda are votes on four gun control measures.

II. Bills

S.150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)

S.54, Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (Leahy)

S.374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (Schumer)

S.146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (Boxer)

Given the composition of the committee, I really have no expectation that they won’t pass these measures. The only question is whether any Republican votes for any of these measures.  I would hope not but there is no guarantees. Sebastian has a good post up today about the risk of letting gun controllers have any victory. In my opinion, a party line vote is about the best we can expect in the Senate Judiciary Committee and would count as a win.

It’s time to tell the Republicans on the committee that we expect them to hold the line. Contact info is available here.

Ted Cruz At The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the junior senator from Texas and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In his comments and questions today at the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on gun violence (sic) he brought out that the bill proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is concerned with cosmetics and not functionality. It is a message that most Americans are not getting. I think Cruz is correct when he asserts the average American thinks of full-auto firearms when the term “assault weapon” is used.

S.150- Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S.150 – the Assault Weapons (sic) Ban of 2013 – to much hoopla yesterday. She may have even pulled a David Gregory when she used 10 firearms prohibited by the District of Columbia in her presentation. While the bill as it stands may not even get enough Democrat votes to pass the Senate, I have the feeling that it will be used as a negotiating tool.

S.150 has 17 original co-sponsors and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] – 1/24/2013
Sen Boxer, Barbara [D-CA] – 1/24/2013
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] – 1/24/2013
Sen Carper, Thomas R. [D-DE] – 1/24/2013
Sen Durbin, Richard [D-IL] – 1/24/2013
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] – 1/24/2013
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [D-NJ] – 1/24/2013
Sen Levin, Carl [D-MI] – 1/24/2013
Sen Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] – 1/24/2013
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [D-MD] – 1/24/2013
Sen Murphy, Christopher S. [D-CT] – 1/24/2013
Sen Reed, Jack [D-RI] – 1/24/2013
Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [D-WV] – 1/24/2013
Sen Schatz, Brian [D-HI] – 1/24/2013
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY] – 1/24/2013
Sen Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] – 1/24/2013
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] – 1/24/2013

While there are no Republican co-sponsors to this bill, the Washington Post reported today that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is working with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on other gun control measures.

The full text of S.150 is not yet up on the Library of Congress’ Thomas server. However, a full text copy have been loaded on Scribd and can be found here. Appendix A lists a large number of single-shot, double-barreled, pump, bolt-action, and some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that would be expressly exempted from the provision of S.150.

To be frank, Appendix A reads as if some staffer sat down with old copies of Gun Digest and started copying names. For example, it exempts the Ithaca Model 87 pump shotgun but makes no mention of the Model 37. The Model 37 was renamed the Model 87 for a brief period of time and then reverted back to the original name of Model 37.

A summary of the provisions of S.150 can be found here. While grandfathered firearms were not put under the National Firearms Act as previously speculated, it still contains onerous provisions. It contains a safe storage requirement for grandfathered firearms and forbids the sale or transfer of grandfathered magazines. Grandfathered firearms would be allowed to be sold but must go through a FFL and a NICS check.

If you haven’t written to your congressman or senator, start now. Even if you live in California or one of the states of her fellow-traveler co-sponsors, write anyway. Don’t let anyone say they didn’t get letters, emails, and faxes in opposition.

As Leon Trotsky, one of the fathers of the Communist Revolution, said to his Menshevik opponents, and it could just as readily be applied to Feinstein, her bill, and its backers, “You are pitiful, isolated individuals! You are bankrupts. Your role is
played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of