Twenty-four years ago, George Deukmejian signed the nation’s first assault weapons ban after a mass killing in Stockton. Today he backs Sen. Feinstein’s effort to reinstate the ban.
The Republican model on gun control isn’t working. There are many pushing the way forward but there is still a long way to go in the gun control debate.
Deukmejian says he supports Senator Dianne Feinstein’s current effort to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban that existed for 10 years until Congress let it expire in 2004.
“There’s no logical reason for anybody to own an assault weapon,” he says.
Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. In 2013 she introduced a new assault weapons bill, which failed to pass.
This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on an NRA-backed bill that would do nothing to actually prevent gun sales to known or suspected terrorists.
Candidly, it’s unbelievable and inexcusable that Republicans are finding more ways to block Congress from keeping guns away from these dangerous individuals. And it’s even more egregious considering 86 percent of Americans support doing so.
One category that cannot be blocked from buying guns is known or suspected terrorists.
Under the NRA-backed bill, the gun sale would proceed after 72 hours unless the government wins a court hearing establishing probable cause that the suspected terrorist has committed or intents to commit an act of terrorism.
Before the hearing could occur, the government would need to file an emergency petition, notify the suspected terrorist, allow the suspected terrorist to secure a lawyer and schedule the hearing at a time all parties could be present.
Any lawyer or judge would tell you that it would be impossible to meet this 72-hour deadline.
The unworkable time constraint is not the only serious flaw in this bill.
The bottom line is that to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks in this country we need to make it harder for known or suspected terrorists to get their hands on weapons.
Allowing the attorney general to block gun sales to these individuals is a commonsense step that would help protect the public and is consistent with the rule of law.
The gun control debate is one this country sorely needs to have.