Dear John:
Thank you for your letter about gun safety and the recent mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  I appreciate knowing your views and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As a mother and grandmother, I am horrified and incensed by the carnage caused by this senseless act of violence.  I mourn the loss of the innocent victims who were killed.
Weapons of war do not belong on our streets or in our theaters, shopping malls or, most of all, our schools.  I believe we need reasonable measures that protect certain hunting and sporting weapons, and get military-style weapons off our streets.  When senseless mass shootings reach into our kindergartens and elementary schools, one has to question what is happening to America.
To help reduce assault weapon violence, on January 24, 2013, I introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (S. 150).  The bill would prospectively prohibit semiautomatic rifles, handguns, and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics such as a pistol grip, barrel shroud, or grenade launcher.  The bill prospectively prohibits large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.  Firearms and ammunition devices, lawfully owned on the date of enactment would be protected.  The future sale or transfer of assault weapons would require a background check of the purchaser or recipient.  In addition, the bill would impose a safe storage requirement to keep assault weapons secure from prohibited persons, and allow existing federal grant money to be used to support voluntary buy-back programs.  The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.
The shooting in Newtown is the latest in a string of massacres involving military-style firearms and large-capacity magazines.  In January 2011, Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 18 people were shot by a gunman in the parking lot of a Tucson supermarket.  The gunman fired at least 31 rounds from an extended magazine before he was restrained by brave bystanders as he attempted to reload.  Six people died, including nine-year old Christina Taylor Green and Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll.
In July 2012, a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.  The gunman used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault-style rifle with a 100-round ammunition drum that allowed him to rapidly fire a large number of rounds before police arrived only two minutes after the first 911 call.
On December 14, 2012, a gunman shot and killed 20 students and six school officials at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  The gunman used a Bushmaster assault-style rifle and multiple high-capacity magazines to inflict this unspeakable terror on six- and seven-year old children and school personnel.
Military-style weapons have but one purpose: kill as many people as quickly as possible.  The legislation I introduced, which is supported by law enforcement, health professionals, religious groups, mayors and many others, will help keep our communities safe from assault weapon violence that has caused so much damage and grief.  For more information or to help with this effort, please go to:
Once again, thank you for your engagement in this important issue.  If you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the nation are available at my website,  You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list. Click here to sign up.  And please visit my YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for more ways to communicate with me.