For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Chandler
Thursday, July 28, 1994
CRIME BILL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE COMPLETES NEGOTIATIONS; ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN APPROVED
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Dianne Feinstein's legislation to
stop the manufacture, sale and transfer of military-style assault weapons
was approved today by members of the Senate-House conference committee.
As a result, the legislation is almost certain to become law when the
Crime Bill, which will put 100,000 additional police officers on
America's streets, is passed by Congress and signed by the President.
"There were many who said Congress would never stop
military-style assault weapons that are only designed to kill large
numbers of people in close combat. With more and more frequency, these
weapons have been used by grievance killers and cop killers to mow down
unsuspecting victims. In my view, a Crime Bill would not be strong
enough unless it stopped these weapons of war," Senator Feinstein, a
member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today.
The Crime Bill that emerged today after final negotiations
between Senate and House members also includes several other amendments
and proposals offered by Senator Feinstein:
_Hate Crimes: The amendment to the Crime Bill offered by Senator
Feinstein will increase penalties for hate crimes committed based on an
individual's race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender or sexual
orientation. The legislation will keep hate crime offenders behind bars
one-third longer than others who commit similar crimes.
_$1.8 billion to Reimburse States for the Costs of Incarcerating Criminal
Aliens: Senator Feinstein, in a recent letter to Senator Joseph Biden,
asked that the Conference Report require the Attorney General
either to reimburse states for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens
or to take physical custody of them. The conference committee authorizes
$1.8 billion over six years in the Crime Bill to reimburse states for
_Death Penalty: Today, only two crimes -- treason and drug kingpins
--are federal death penalty crimes. The Crime Bill adds more than 50
crimes to this list. The Senator pushed to have carjacking which results
in the death of the victim to be subject to the death penalty. The
Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles, has more than
25 percent of all the carjackings in the nation.
_$1 billion for Federal Immigration Law Enforcement: Provides $1 billion
over the next six fiscal years for all Federal immigration-related
efforts, including: further expansion and equipment of the Border Patrol,
increased deportation of those ordered out of the country, and reform of
the currently ineffective asylum system.
On November 17, 1993, the United States Senate approved by a vote
of 56 to 43 an amendment to the Crime Bill offered by Senator Feinstein
to stop the manufacture, sale and possession of semi-automatic,
military-style assault weapons, their copycat versions, and ammunition
devices that can hold more than 10 rounds. In addition, Senator
Feinstein listed more than 650 guns that were exempt from the legislation.
The House of Representatives then passed nearly identical
legislation on May 5 of this year in a 216 to 214 vote.
Both during the debate on the House floor and the conference
committee, a key vote was the support offered by Rep. Henry Hyde.
Senator Feinstein sent the Congressman more than 100 pages of background
information on the legislation, including a summary of assault weapons
incidents that occurred in Illinois, which he publicly credited with
shaping his vote.
"In the end, this legislation to stop military-style assault
weapons has only been possible through true bipartisan work. Law
enforcement officials and the families of people killed by assault
weapons played a key role in convincing lawmakers of the need for this
ban. The uphill fight is nearly over and I expect that this legislation
will become law within the next month. This is an extremely good day for
those of us concerned about rising incidents of violence," Senator
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