California Sen. Dianne Feinstein unveiled new gun control legislation on Thursday, calling for a ban on more weapons than the original assault weapons ban and a 10-bullet limit on feeding mechanisms such as magazines.
Both issues are hallmarks of the gun control agenda outlined last week by President Obama, who also pushed for universal background checks.
Iowa Rep. Steve King is an ardent defender of the Second Amendment and a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He says the latest gun control push from Democrats was totally, and sadly, predictable.
“The people that have stepped forward on this are the gun-grabbers. They are the anti-Second Amendment crowd. They are the opportunists that showed up the morning after the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook,” said King. “So the president is following Rahm Emanuel’s directive. It’s a crisis that he doesn’t want to let go to waste.”
King rejects all of the main Obama priorities on guns and took special aim at the effort to reduce magazine capacity.
“If you’re going to reduce the number of rounds in a clip, where is the constitutional stop for that? Do you do it at 10 rounds? Seven rounds? Six, five, four, one? Or do you just say everything has to be a single shot?” asked King. “Whence you go down this incremental encroachment upon our Second Amendment rights, I think they probably would not stop at machetes. But that’s the direction they want to go.”
Rep. King is also ready to fight against the looming push for universal gun registration. He says it’s unnecessary and completely impractical.
“That would mean that every transaction on guns in America would have to be approved by a federally licensed firearm dealer,” said King. “That would mean that Christmas at the Kings would be outlawed unless one of us got a federal firearms license. If we want to trade guns or buy one for each other, it can’t change hands without having the universal registration component of that. So I’m concerned about that from a constitutional perspective.”
So how should Congress approach gun issues? Easy, according to King. Lawmakers should let the Constitution be their guide.
“First, we should reduce it all to something that’s constitutional and then we should do the things that are prudent, in that order. Constitutional first, prudent second,” said King, who says the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are very committed to protecting the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms.
“I would not expect a big bill, but there may be some little pieces that find their way before the committee, where they will get some pretty intense Second Amendment scrutiny,” he said.
King expects Republicans to stand firm in the face of a vigorous campaign from gun control proponents.
“The defenders of the Second Amendment, myself included, we’re not asking for more. We’re just holding our ground on those things that we protected and achieved,” said King. “I think we’ll be able to hold our ground and keep our weapons. I would just take us back to what Judge (Andrew) Napolitano said. I thought he made it very clear. He said, ‘The Second Amendment isn’t about the right to shoot deer. It’s a right to shoot tyrants.’
“We have that Second Amendment to protect us from tyranny. As long as that restraint is there, we’re unlikely to see a tyrant take over this country,” he said.