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Democratic Senators introduce assault weapons ban

This news story was published on January 10, 2019.
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AR-15 assault rifle

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today led a group of senators in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, an updated bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

In addition to Feinstein, Murphy and Blumenthal, cosponsors of the bill include Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).


“Last year we saw tens of thousands of students nationwide take to the streets to demand action to stop mass shootings and stem the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our communities. Our youngest generation has grown up with active-shooter drills, hiding under their desks—and now they’re saying enough is enough,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein. “Americans across the nation are asking Congress to reinstate the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. If we’re going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets.”

“Military-style assault rifles are the weapons of choice for mass murderers. There’s just no reason why these guns, which were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, are sold to the public,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “This past year, we’ve seen Americans rise up and demand Congress change our gun laws. Banning assault weapons would save lives, and I’m proud to join Senator Feinstein in introducing this bill.”

“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,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.“By passing this legislation, Congress can honor the memory of the beautiful lives cut short by military-style assault weapons in Newtown, Parkland, Las Vegas, San Bernardino and far too many other American cities. This is the year for my colleagues to turn our rhetoric into reality and finally end America’s gun violence epidemic.”

Key provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable 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. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

Other provisions:

  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Updates to Assault Weapons Ban of 2017:

  • Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”
  • Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.
  • Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.
  • Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.

Mass shootings that took place last year using military-style assault rifles:

  • Las Vegas, Nev. (October 2018): In the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring 422 others. The gunman used multiple AR-15 style assault rifles fitted with bump-fire stocks.
  • Sutherland Springs, Texas (October 2018): A gunman entered a church killing 26 parishioners and injuring 20 others. His weapon was an AR-15 style assault rifle.
  • Parkland, Fla. (February 2018): A student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School opened fire on his classmates and teachers, killing 17 and injuring 17 more.

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20 Responses to Democratic Senators introduce assault weapons ban

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Geez can’t even post a comment anymore.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm

      Gosh, sometimes the truth hits it home.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 10:31 am

    do the democrats ever change?
    Bigger government
    less freedom
    more handouts
    is that all there ever is with them?

  3. Lawsteward Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 9:43 am

    …by the way, did you know that the “AR” used when talking about this type of firearm doesn’t mean an “Assault Rifle”, it stands for the company “Armalite”…look it up!

    • Allen Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Exactly. Most people are ignorant, of whats going on around them. They want to be part of something, so they jump on the bandwagon that’s making the most noise.

  4. Lawsteward Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 9:39 am

    …and yet we continue to ignore the real problem…that being the “crazies” who do all these mass shootings…do better background checks, and let “SOMEBODY” know when they hear someone “TALKING” CRAZY…DUH!

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 9:37 am

    The Constitution doesn’t guarantee your right to own an assault weapon. It guarantees your right to have a weapon. They didn’t have assault rifles back then but gave the Congress the right to limit what the citizens can and cannot do.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 9:38 am

      In addition, you have been saying for years that they are coming after your weapons. Hasn’t happened and won’t happen.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 11, 2019 at 1:37 pm

        Clearly you have no clue what you’re talking about. The NBA acts took away guns. Some states have made it illegal to posses certain firearms based on zero logic. In 94 the Clinton Brady demo wet dream happened. The two or three latest bills democrats have out in the house are going to do a great job of taking peoples firearms away. When you grow up you will realise this whole being liberal because its trendy is nonsensical mentally deficient bullshit.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 11, 2019 at 1:38 pm


          • Anonymous

            January 12, 2019 at 7:09 am

            Did you mean NRA? Put the beer down

          • Anonymous

            January 12, 2019 at 8:31 pm

            Nba ? nfa? They let these people have firearms?

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      You need to look at that period of firearms history. Do you honestly expect us to believe the founding fathers were somehow ignorant of the advancement of that particular technology? If you believe it your just completely foolish. The firearms of the day were the same for military and civilian’s. When you use some common sense it would seem they probably figured citizens should have the same firearms as the military. Beside the fact that an ar 15 is not an assault rifle, no firearms manufacturer has ever produced an assault anything. Assault rifle now assault weapon was just a term made up by a democrat.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 5:17 am

    All they will do is sell more “assault weapons” and drive the prices up.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 7:36 am

      Exactly. It’s a lesson they learned from the Obama era.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Next they will want handguns banned.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 8:18 am

      I don’t own a rifle but respect the right of other people to have one. It will never end until they take away all guns or there is a civil war and they are driven back into their closet.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Well they have changed their language in their bills from assault rifle to assault weapon. They are doing their best as we speak. Read the bills introduced by demand since they got the house. Be afraid.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Disappointing to see Bernie amongst the usual suspects

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    He we go. The dumb asses voted them in and right away they attack the constitution.