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US lawmakers introduce beefed-up assault weapons ban

Published on Jan 25, 2013 5:54 AM
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks next to a display of assault weapons during a news conference January 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Feinstein announced that she will introduce a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds to help to stop gun violence. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) Senator Dianne Feinstein on Thursday introduced a toughened version of her assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, but she and other Democrats acknowledged an "uphill" battle to get it through Congress.

The new legislation, coming just six weeks after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, left 20 children and six adults dead, aims to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons, as well as magazines and other feeding devices that accept more than 10 rounds.

It would ban 157 specific firearms outright, including the AR-15 Bushmaster used in Newtown, while respecting hunters and sportsmen by excluding 2,258 models of "legitimate" hunting and sporting rifles.

"We have had enough," Ms Feinstein said at an event with several members of Congress - all Democrats - and law enforcement officials, as she stood before a board with 10 semi-automatic weapons clipped to it as a visual prop.

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