Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has introduced a bill that would ban so-called “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 and high-capacity magazines to prevent “domestic terrorism,” her office announced on Thursday.
House Democrats this past week already passed two anti-gun bills, H.R 8 and H.R 1446. The bills respectively would ban the private transfer of firearms between friends and neighbors and would also extend the waiting period for purchasing firearms, targeting the so-called “Charleston loophole.”
Feinstein, in a bill co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, now wants to begin banning weapons which Democrats are calling weapons of “war.”
A media release from the duo introduced the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2021,” which was described as an “updated bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, like were used in the massacre in Dayton, Ohio, where the shooter had a 100-round magazine attached to an assault rifle.”
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 is 125 pages of proposed regulations targeting the rights of individuals to own sporting weapons, such as the AR-15 platform of rifle.
The bill, if enacted, would bans new sales on “any assault weapon with the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.”
The bill would also ban some semiautomatic shotguns, and in general “regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes,” according to the proposed legislation itself.
The bill contains dozens of pages which are dedicated solely to 205 weapons by name, brand and model which would be targeted by the ban.
“It’s been 17 years since the original Assault Weapons Ban expired, and the plague of gun violence continues to grow in this country,” a statement attributed to Feinstein, 87, read in the media release. “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,” Feinstein added.
The statement went on to connect popular sporting weapons to “domestic terrorism.”
“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,” Feinstein said. “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.”
“Banning these weapons will make our cities and towns safer and more secure and help to reduce gun deaths.”
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a co-sponsor of the bill, also commented on the legislation.
“What do Las Vegas, Orlando, Newtown, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, and Parkland all have in common? These communities are a tragic shorthand for some of the deadliest mass shootings in our nation’s history, all of which involved an assault weapon,” Blumenthal said. “Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are deadly and dangerous weapons of war that belong on battlefields—not our streets.”
“They have no purpose for self-defense or hunting, and no business being in our schools, churches and malls. By passing this legislation, Congress can honor the memory of the beautiful lives cut short by military-style assault weapons in far too many American cities,” the senator added.
If passed, weapons already owned would be grandfathered in, but would be required to stay locked up. Additionally, any non-fixed high-capacity magazines would also be grandfathered in — but selling or receiving one would become a crime.
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