Lawmakers Introduce New Bill to Ban Standard-capacity Magazines
*(By: Daniel Xu – Outdoor Hub)
Last week US Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Connecticut) introduced the so-called Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Act, a bill which would ban the sale, manufacture, and possession of any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The lawmakers unveiled the bill at a joint press conference on Thursday in Washington, DC, where they were joined by activists from the Newtown Action Alliance, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), as well as US House Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) and Ted Deutch (D-Florida).
“There is no place in our communities for ammunition magazines designed for military-style shootouts, which have been used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, in Fort Hood, and in Tucson—and it is well-past time for Congress to listen to the American people and put this high-capacity magazine ban back in place,” said Senator Menendez. “The only thing more senseless than the gun violence that has taken too many of our nation’s children and countless innocent Americans is the failure of the Senate to pass common sense gun safety measures, like this one, that are supported by 90 percent of the American public.”
Menendez and his fellow legislators argued that magazines that hold more than 10 rounds allow spree killers to take more lives than they would be able to with lower-capacity magazines. Newtown Action Alliance Vice Chairman Dave Stowe, who applauded the bill, stated that a ban on 30-round magazines could save lives.
“In Newtown, we know firsthand the devastating damage that is wrought when high capacity-magazines are paired with semi-automatic assault weapons,” Stowe said at the conference. “The Sandy Hook shooter used a 30-round high-capacity magazine to fire 154 shots in less than five minutes, killing 20 innocent children and six educators. ”
The bill would also allow law enforcement agencies to seize certain magazines and require producers to stamp conspicuous serial numbers and dates of manufacture on their products. Limited exceptions would be made for magazines manufactured before enactment, as well as for law enforcement personnel.
Political experts speculate that the bill will have a hard time making it through a Republican-controlled congress, especially after similar gun control measures failed in 2013 in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting. Gun rights groups such as the NRA argued repeatedly that magazine bans negatively impact the ability of gun owners to defend themselves and are simply another step toward stricter gun control measures.
“The steady march toward increasingly smaller magazine limits illustrates what those who follow the gun control debate know already: today’s restrictions merely lead to tomorrow’s more stringent regulations,” the NRA stated in an article last year. “Civil disarmament proceeds one step at a time.”