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Sen. Feinstein: Background checks would not have stopped the Sandy Hook shooting

Dianne Feinstein

Opponents of the Manchin-Toomey Senate gun bill have insisted that expanding background checks would not have stopped the Sandy Hook shooting that occurred last December. But now, even gun control advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is confessing that making background checks more prevalent won’t solve America’s gun violence problem.

“We know one thing, none of this information would have been caught on a background check,” Feinstein said Wednesday morning on the Senate floor. “And I say that, although I support background checks.”

The California Senator made her comments while introducing her so-called assault weapons ban legislation as an amendment to the Senate’s gun bill. Feinstein’s ban was originally included in the chamber’s legislation, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) removed it in order to encourage bipartisan support for Manchin and Toomey’s less controversial proposal.

In introducing the legislation the former San Francisco mayor pointed out that the mother of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, gave him assault weapons as presents, thus additional background checks would have been useless in preventing the massacre.

“Mr. President, I’m sure background checks will stop many would-be murderers but they would have not prevented Newtown,” Feinstein continued. “The weapons were legally purchased by his mother and while he was disturbed, he had no criminal record or record of mental illness and would not have been subject to a background check because his mother gave him these weapons.”

Despite removing the ban from the Senate’s bill, Reid announced Wednesday morning he was still backing Feinstein’s amendment and encouraged others to do so. Even with the Senate Majority Leader’s support, however, the legislation is unlikely to receive the 60 votes it needs to pass.


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