Clinton staff: “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.” Kagan wrote the Clinton ban on gun imports.David Kopel
May. 13, 2010
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The Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant reports: "According to records at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., she also drafted an executive order restricting the importation of certain semiautomatic assault rifles."
When ban was announced, Clinton staffer Jose Cerda stated, "We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns." [Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22, 1997].
The import ban was made permanent in the spring of 1998. Here's an explanation I wrote, as part of an article on Rahm Emanuel for America's 1st Freedom, which is a NRA member magazine:
In 1998, Clinton forbade the import of 58 types of firearms and their accessories. . . .Democratic Senator Pat Leahy, who was then the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Clinton that he "strongly believes that using a Presidential directive to avoid the normal legislative process regarding any changes to the assault weapons ban is the wrong way to go."
The list of banned guns is here, at page 167.