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If a current assault weapon owner wishes to sell or otherwise transfer the firearm, for instance, the new bill requires that the transferee undergo a background check carried out either by the FBI or a state-level agency. It is difficult to see how the federal government could enforce this provision without a registry of existing assault weapons – something gun-rights groups vehemently oppose as government intrusion on Second Amendment rights.
As for existing high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, the bill would prohibit their further sale or transfer, according to Feinstein’s summary of the legislation. That means they would remain lawful to own for those who already have them, but not to get rid of, except to destroy.
The bill would establish a safe storage requirement for grandfathered assault rifles. Feinstein has yet to specify exactly what this would entail, though in the past she has talked about wanting to require trigger locks for such weapons.
Finally, the new legislation would also allow states and localities to use certain federal funds to hold voluntary buy-back programs for grandfathered assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Gun owner groups said they would oppose all aspects of the proposed reinstatement of assault weapon and high-capacity magazine restrictions.
“Senator Feinstein has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades,” said the National Rifle Association in a statement.