POLITICS: PennAve

Dianne Feinstein: Gun owners have 'hammer lock' on Congress

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Gun Control,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said her efforts to ban sales of assault weapons likely will go nowhere because "gun people" have too much control over Congress.

When asked on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday if she thought legislation to ban assault weapons like the one used during a fatal shooting spree at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday could pass Congress, the California Democrat bluntly said "no, I don't."

"I think there's a hammer lock on the Congress by the gun owners and gun people, and it doesn't matter," she said.

Feinstein said the weapon used in the shooting was a military and police-style gun "clearly designed not for general consumption" but one that is readily available to the public.

"It's going to be interesting to see whether this weapon was outlawed in California and whether it was purchased in California," she said.

Authorities have arrested the alleged gunman, Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, and charged him with killing Transportation Security Administration Gerardo I. Hernandez and injuring others during the airport. The charges could qualify him for the death penalty.

Feinstein introduced legislation this year designed to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

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