Nightly News | January 24, 2013
>>> the latest step in the ongoing response to the newtown , connecticut school shootings . a democratic proposal to bring back an assault weapons ban first passed back in 1994 . our report on this tonight from nbc's kelly o'donnell.
>> reporter: 40 days after the horror of newtown . taking aim at weapons like these.
>> if they're not in the stores, they can't be bought. think of the lives that could be saved.
>> reporter: the proposed ban names 157 specific firearms, including semi automatic rifles and pistols, and magazines holding more than ten rounds. but the bill would not ban more than 2,200 models of hunting and sporting weapons. for senator dianne feinstein , this is a re tooled version of her 1994 assault weapons ban that expired.
>> no weapon is taken from anyone. the purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.
>> reporter: gun violence is personal for feinstein. back in 1978 , as a san francisco supervisor , she was first to discover harvey milks shot dead when he and the mayor were assassinated. the american people know gun bans do not work, and we are confident congress will reject senator feinstein's wrong-headed approach. today, in an online chat about guns, vice president biden was asked, if in a crisis like a natural disaster , citizens should be able to have assault weapons for their self defense .
>> it's harder to use an assault weapon and hit something than it is a shotgun, okay? you want to keep people away in an earthquake, buy some shotgun shells .
>> reporter: as the gun debate rages, "slate" magazine reports 1,200 americans have died in gun violence since newtown . and in pennsylvania, a sportsman show set for next weekend is postponed indefinitely after complaints about the organizers' decision to exclude automatic rifles . kelly o'donnell, nbc news, washington.