On Thursday, it will have been two months since the mass shooting in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Since the day when police found two hand guns and a Bushmaster .223 rifle with a high capacity 30 round magazine with the shooter, Adam Lanza, the gun control debate has been front and center.
It’s been the basis for proposed legislation by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.). And most recently, a point of focus in President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
The “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation to the public of all semiautomatic rifles and pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature. Some of those features include threaded barrels, barrel shrouds, grenade and rocket launchers and telescoping stocks.
A semiautomatic firing mechanism requires the shooter to pull the trigger every time a bullet is fired. Not to be confused with a fully automatic weapon or “machine gun” that can fire off multiple bullets with one squeeze of the trigger.
The bill also bans semiautomatic shotguns with military features and names 157 of the most commonly owned military style assault weapons.
A grandfather clause would exclude any weapon that is lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment.
The bill is the most controversial of the four major components of the gun control platform introduced by the Obama administration. The others are a universal background check for firearm sales, a federal trafficking law, and a ban on high capacity magazines.