Sen. Dianne Feinstein, outlining her proposal in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, argued a new assault weapon ban is necessary to reduce gun violence.
Feinstein, D-Calif., cited massacres at Virginia Tech and in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., to make her case Wednesday, saying, "Weapons are more lethal today than they were in 2004," when a federal ban on assault weapons expired. "The need for a federal ban has never been stronger."
It was the first hearing on the proposed ban on military-style assault weapons since the Dec. 14 deaths of 20 children and six adults in the Newtown incident, USA Today reported.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member on the Judiciary panel, expressed his opposition to Feinstein's proposal, saying it was based on "arbitrary distinctions" and has "nothing to do with the functions of the weapons."
The proposal would ban the future sale of assault weapons and magazines carrying more than 10 rounds of ammunition, exempting currently existing weapons, as well as the sales, importation and manufacture of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines and certain other military features.
The legislation faces an uphill battle, especially in the Republican-controlled House, USA Today said.
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