Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Fact-checking Dianne Feinstein on assault weapons and police deaths

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announces a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. (Getty)
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announces a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. (Getty)

Almost six weeks after the gun rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., took the lead in proposing a new assault weapons ban. She later argued for its passage on the Jan. 28, 2013, edition of CBS’ Face the Nation.

"What we are trying to do is overall see that weapons ... are in the hands of responsible citizens, that they are used legally, not illegally, that they do not fall into the hands of gangs," Feinstein said. "Do you realize we have 150,000-plus gang members in this nation? When they go up against the police, it's generally an AK-47. You realize that police have had to break into gun stores to get weapons that would be stronger than the adversary they had? Do you realize that one out of every five law enforcement officers that's killed is killed with an assault weapon?"

A reader asked us whether it was true that "one out of every five law enforcement officers that's killed is killed with an assault weapon." So we looked into it.

We found the number was largely correct. But it's still not easy to define what an "assault weapon" is. Read our complete report; we rated her statement Mostly True.