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Senate Proceeding on Feb 26th, 2009 :: 6:05:05 to 6:16:10
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Dianne Feinstein

6:05:02 to 6:05:24( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: from california on the floor, and i would y time. mrs. feinstein: i thank the distinguished manager of the bill. and, mr. president, it's my understanding i have 15 minutes, if i might ask the manager if that's correct? the presiding officer: the senator has ten minutes. mrs. feinstein: ten minutes.

Dianne Feinstein

6:05:05 to 6:16:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

6:05:25 to 6:05:47( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: all right, i'll do my best. let me begin by thanking the manager for this time. i rise to oppose the amendment offered by senator e ensign. i believe that this amendment would essentially repeal all commonsense gun laws in the district of columbia. i believe the amendment is reckless.

Dianne Feinstein

6:05:48 to 6:06:10( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: i believe it is irresponsible. i believe it will lead to more weapons and more violence on the street of our nation's capital t. will endanger the citizens -- nation's capital. it will endanger the citizens of the district, the government employees who work elected officials and those who visit this great american capital. and, of course, if successful, it will be the first new step in

Dianne Feinstein

6:06:11 to 6:06:31( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: a march to remove all commonsense gun regulations all over this land. the ensign amendment repeals gun laws promoting public safety, including d.c. laws that the united states supreme court have indicated were permissible under the second amendment in the heller decision.

Dianne Feinstein

6:06:32 to 6:06:52( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: now, i understand that it has been stated on this floor that all this does is what the heller decision says. that is not correct. it is important to note that heller also states that reasonable, commonsense gun regulations are entirely

Dianne Feinstein

6:06:53 to 6:07:14( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: permissible. judge scalia wrote in the majority opinion on the heller case that a wide laws are -- quote -- "presumively lawful," including the laws -- quote -- "forbidding the carrying of firearms sensitive places." and regulations governing -- quote -- "the conditions and

Dianne Feinstein

6:07:15 to 6:07:37( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: qualifications of the commercial sale of guns." i cannot think of any place more sensitive than the district of columbia. even bans on dangerous and unusual weapons are completely appropriate under the heller decision. so it is interesting to me that you have this decision and then

Dianne Feinstein

6:07:38 to 6:07:58( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: you have the senate moving even to obliterate what is allowable under the decision. senator ensign's amendment completely ignores heller's language and takes the approach that all guns for all people at all times is called for by heller.

Dianne Feinstein

6:07:59 to 6:08:19( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: it is not. about the tragic consequences of gun violence. the massacre of students at virginia tech university in 2007 2007, the murders at columbine high school in colorado, the

Dianne Feinstein

6:08:20 to 6:08:41( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: north hol hollywood shootout robbers carrying armor-piercing bullets shot ten police officers and seven civilia before being shot. we have seen criminal street gangs able to buy weapons at gun shows and out of the backseats and trunks of automobiles. we have seen their bullets kill hundreds if not thousands of people across this great land.

Dianne Feinstein

6:08:42 to 6:09:03( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: year after year, men, women and children. as the chief of police of l.a. has said, there has never been a time inside nation's history when mafia organized crime killed 300 people a year. it is commonplace for the gangs in many cities to do just that. as senator schumer said, if this

Dianne Feinstein

6:09:04 to 6:09:24( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: amendment becomes law, even if you cannot see, even if you cannot pass a sight test, you have access to firearms that's not what this nation should encourage. those incidents and the gun violence that occurs every day across this country show us we should be doing more, not less,

Dianne Feinstein

6:09:25 to 6:09:48( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill and not give them unfettered access to firearms. it's worth noting just how far this amendment goes in repealing district of columbia law and just how unsafe it will make the streets of this capital. here's what it would do.

Dianne Feinstein

6:09:49 to 6:10:10( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: it would repeal the district's ban on semiautomatic weapons, including a if this amendment becomes law, with high-capacity magazines will be allowed to be stockpiled in the homes and businesses in this district, even near federal buildings such as the white

Dianne Feinstein

6:10:11 to 6:10:31( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: house and the capital. even the rifle with a range of over one mile will be allowed in d.c. under this amendment. this is a weapon capable of firingounds that can penetrate concrete and armor plating, and at least one model of the

Dianne Feinstein

6:10:32 to 6:10:52( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: .50-caliber sniper rifle is concealed and transported. this one manufacturer describes this model as -- quote -- "lightweight and tactical." and capable of being collapsed and carried in a -- quote -- "very small, inconspicuous package."

Dianne Feinstein

6:10:53 to 6:11:14( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: is this what we want to do? there's simply no good reason anyone needs semiautomatic military-style assault weapons in an urban community. it is unfathomable to me that the same rifle used by our armed forces wi be permitted in the nation's capital, and yet this is what this amendment would

Dianne Feinstein

6:11:15 to 6:11:36( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: allow if passed by the senate. the amend existing federal trafficking laws. for years, federal law has banned gun dealers from selling handguns directly to out-of-state buyers who are not licensed firearms dealers.

Dianne Feinstein

6:11:37 to 6:11:57( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: this has helped substantially in the fight againstllegal interstate gun trafficking and it has prevented criminals from traveling to other states to buy guns. senator ensign's amendment repeals the long-standing federal law and allows d.c. residents t cross state lines to buy handguns in neighboring

Dianne Feinstein

6:11:58 to 6:12:19( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: states illegal gun traffickers will be able to easily obtain large quanties of firearms outside of d.c. and them distribute those guns to criminals in d.c. and in surrounding states. and no one -- no one -- should be so naive as to say that this

Dianne Feinstein

6:12:20 to 6:12:45( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: amendment will not do this. it will. the amendment repeals d.c. law restricting the ability of dangerous and unqualified people to obtain guns. the amendment also repeals many of the gun regulations that the supreme court said were appropriate following heller. so all of those who will vote

Dianne Feinstein

6:12:46 to 6:13:06( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: for this amendment should not do so thinking they're just complying with the heller decision. rather, this is the first step in a march forward by gun lobbying interests in this country to begin to remove all commonsense regulations. and no one should think it is anything les less. this would

Dianne Feinstein

6:13:07 to 6:13:27( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: prohibition on persons under the age of 21 from possessing firearms, and it repeals all age limits from possession of long guns, including assault weapons. i just read where a youngster who had a shotgun with a short barrel killed someone.

Dianne Feinstein

6:13:28 to 6:13:48( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: now, what's interesting about that, this youngster was 11 years old. do we want 11-year-olds and 12 and 13 and 14 and 15 to have access to these firearms? i do not. the amendment even repeals the d.c. law prohibiting gun

Dianne Feinstein

6:13:49 to 6:14:11( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: possession by people who have poor vision. i heard senator schumer speak about this yesterday afternoon. unbelievably, under this amendment, the district woul barred from having any vision requirement for gun use, even if someone is blind. is this the kd of public policy we want to make for our nation?

Dianne Feinstein

6:14:12 to 6:14:35( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: is this how co-opted this body is to the national rifle association? i hope not. one of the reasons we have six-year terms is to allow us to make difficult decisions, and there is no higher charge than protecting the public safety of americans. we need to protect our constituents, and the way we

Dianne Feinstein

6:14:36 to 6:14:58( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: protect individuals is by enacting public policy that is prudent, reasonable, and subject to common sense. this amendment does none of the above. additionally the amendment before the senate repeals all firearm requirements in the district making it even more difficult for law enforcement to trace guns used

Dianne Feinstein

6:14:59 to 6:15:20( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: in crimes and track down the registered owner. the amendment repeals all -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mrs. feinstein: may i have 30 seconds to terminate, please? the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. feinstein: the amendment repeals all existing safe storage laws and prohibits the

Dianne Feinstein

6:15:21 to 6:15:41( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: district from enacting any additional safe storage law. after heller, the district passed emergency legislation to allow guns to be unlocked for self-defense, but requiring that they otherwise be kept locked to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals. we all want to have that.

Dianne Feinstein

6:15:42 to 6:16:02( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: why vote to end it? and that's what this amendment would do. i'd ask that the remainder of my remarks go in the record. i would urg this body to stand up for the people we represent and say one other thing: when this bill was tried in the house

Dianne Feinstein

6:16:03 to 6:16:11( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: a year ago, a poll was done natially, 69% of the people of this nation were against this bill then.

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