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Did Dianne Feinstein Say It’s Legal To Hunt Humans With 30-Round Magazines?

A Turning Point USA meme posted on Facebook Jan. 18 quoted Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein as saying that it’s legal to hunt humans with 30-round magazines.

“We have laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than 3 rounds, yet it’s legal to hunt humans with 30 round magazines,” the meme read.

Verdict: True

Feinstein made the statement at a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013 while arguing for gun control legislation.

Fact Check:

Six years ago, Feinstein brought legislation before the Senate Judiciary Committee that would have banned assault-style weapons.

“The other very important part of this bill is to ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices – those that hold over 10 rounds,” Feinstein said while discussing the bill in March 2013. “We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds. And yet, it’s legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines.”

Federal law specifies that a shotgun that can hold more than three shells cannot be used while hunting waterfowl and other migratory birds unless it is plugged with a one-piece filter to limit capacity. There are multiple exceptions to this rule, however.

Other Democratic lawmakers have cited round limitations on duck hunting when arguing for gun control.

“Federal law prohibits me from having more than three shells in my shotgun when I’m duck hunting. So federal law provides more protection for the ducks than it does for citizens,” California Rep. Mike Thompson said during a panel discussion at the Center for American Progress in January 2013, Talking Points Memo reported.

Former New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy referenced the round limits for duck hunting at a January 2013 news conference in support of the assault weapons ban.

“NRA members have been speaking out to get something done,” she said. “These are good law-abiding citizens. They want to hunt. They want to go duck hunting. And the guns they use duck hunting, you’re only allowed three bullets … And yet we have these machines, we have the large magazines that can take down 20 children in seconds.”

“Limiting magazine capacity is critical because it is when a criminal, a drug dealer, a deranged individual, has to pause to change magazines and reload that the police or brave bystanders have the opportunity to take that individual down,” Feinstein told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013. She referenced a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, where several people stopped a man who attempted to assassinate former Rep. Gabby Giffords as he was trying to reload.

In addition to banning magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 would have banned any semiautomatic shotgun or rifle with a grenade or rocket launcher, a pistol grip or a forward grip, among other provisions.

The ban and other versions of the bill introduced in 2015 and 2017 never received a floor vote. Feinstein reintroduced the assault weapons ban to be considered by the current Congress on Jan. 9.

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