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Feinstein, Kavanaugh spar over Second Amendment, semi-automatic rifles

September 5, 2018

The top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee probed President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Wednesday about his views on the Second Amendment and the legality of semi-automatic rifles.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked Judge Brett Kavanaugh about a dissent he wrote in a case where his colleagues on the federal appeals court upheld a ban on semi-automatic rifles in D.C. Judge Kavanaugh disagreed, saying in his dissent semi-automatic rifles are in “common use” and protected by the Second Amendment.

Ms. Feinstein, an strong advocate for gun control laws, questioned why the judge came down the way he did.

“Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States,” Judge Kavanaugh said. “That seems to fit ‘common use’ and not being a dangerous and unusual weapon.”

“You’re saying the numbers determine common use?” Ms. Feinstein quizzed the nominee.

“They are widely possessed in the United States, senator, and they are used and possessed,” Judge Kavanaugh said.

He said handguns and semi-automatic rifles are both used for hunting and self-defense, but unfortunately are also used to commit crimes and inflict death.

“I understand the issue, but as a judge my job as I saw it was to follow the Second Amendment opinion of the Supreme Court whether I agree with it or disagree with it,” Judge Kavanaugh said.

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