In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced plans to reintroduce high-capacity magazine ban legislation in the 113th Congress.
Lautenberg’s bill, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, would prohibit the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. It also would ban ammunition magazines that could be readily converted to accept more than 10 rounds.
“In light of yet another horrific shooting tragedy, it is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for deadly high-capacity gun magazines and I will keep working to pass my bill to reinstate the ban on them,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “If we don't pass a high-capacity magazine ban this year, it will be the first bill I introduce when the new session of Congress begins in January.”
New Jersey’s senior senator cited the Newtown shootings—in which the gunman used a high-capacity rifle in his murderous spree, killing 20 children and seven adults—as reason for the reintroduction. But it goes beyond the Dec. 14 shootings to other mass killings in recent years, he added.
“These high-capacity magazines, which were used in Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, and so many other tragedies, were designed for one purpose only—to shoot and kill quickly,” Lautenberg said. “We must take immediate action to ban high-capacity gun magazines and assault weapons so that we can prevent the next massacre.”
Lautenberg introduced the same legislation in the current Congress. It stalled after getting referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A similar House of Representatives bill, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), fizzled after getting referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) also pledged immediate action in the 113th Congress, but her bill would go further in seeking to ban all assault weapons, plus high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Almost immediately after the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, public and online debate over gun control laws raged. Some posit the shooting rampage wouldn’t have been as deadly if the Sandy Hook Elementary School staff had firearms. Others decry laws that allow access to such high-powered weapons.
President Barack Obama weighed in when he visited Newtown on Sunday, saying, “No single law—no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this.”
Tell us: Do you support a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines? Would a ban go too far or not far enough?