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WASHINGTON (CAP) – A new bill introduced in the Senate takes a drastically different approach to gun control by applying some of the same criteria to semi-automatic weapons as to criminal behavior itself, a compromise both sides of the aisle could agree on.
"Bill S.150a applies a level of personification ramification justification to gun control," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). "Guns, like people, need to be innocent until proven guilty."
Under the new legislation, an assault weapon will only be banned from legal sale in the United States if that weapon has been proven to be used in the commission of a crime.
For cases where trial is pending, the identified weapon will be placed on suspension and the public will be asked to refrain from using that weapon until its fate is determined.
"There are many makes and models of guns that have never been used to commit a crime," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "It is unAmerican to punish those guns – and by extension, gun manufacturers and gun owners – for a crime that has not taken place.
"If a Pit Bull mauls a child, do we ban every dog in the country?" Graham added. "No, we punish the guilty Pit Bull, not the thousands of dogs making thousands of children happy every day."
A previous version of the legislation had recommended a so-called three-strike rule to be implemented for assault weapons, but it was removed in a later iteration of the bill when ranking Republicans protested the use of a baseball euphemism in a non-sports scenario.
"Three strikes means that at least three people would likely die before anything is done," said Feinstein. "For this measure to be effective, we really need to take decisive action after the first person is killed."
A House version of the bill offers a slightly different solution by leaving current gun laws intact but requiring those purchasing ammunition to sign a waiver stating they understand the risks associated with owning a weapon and that they promise to be very careful.