U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced last week the Assault Weapons Ban, which would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
“It’s been 17 years since the original Assault Weapons Ban expired, and the plague of gun violence continues to grow in this country,” Feinstein said. “To be clear, this bill saves lives. When it was in place from 1994-2004, gun massacres declined by 37 percent compared with the decade before. After the ban expired, the number of massacres rose by 183 percent. We’re now seeing a rise in domestic terrorism, and military-style assault weapons are increasingly becoming the guns of choice for these dangerous groups. I’m hopeful that with the new administration and Democratic control of the Senate, we can finally pass commonsense gun reforms to remove these deadly weapons from our communities.”
The bill would ban 205 assault weapons by name, as well as ban any assault weapon with the ability to use a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics; ban magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition; require background checks on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill; require grandfathered assault weapons to be stored securely and ban bump stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.
The legislation would also allow owners of existing assault weapons to keep them. Additionally, the bill exempted 2,200 weapons used in hunting, household defense, or recreation.
“Assault weapons are designed for a single purpose – to kill as many people as possible in as short an amount of time as possible. That’s why they are the weapon of choice for mass shooters and domestic terrorists. They are weapons of war and do not belong in our communities,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Banning these weapons will make our cities and towns safer and more secure and help to reduce gun deaths.”