November 08, 2017

Cardin, Van Hollen Join Democratic Senators to Introduce Assault Weapons Ban

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) joined Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. This legislation would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“The safety of our children and communities should never be put at risk by partisan gridlock,” said Senator Cardin. “I am sympathetic to the interests of legitimate hunters and collectors, but the federal assault weapons ban never should have been allowed to expire. As lawmakers, we cannot stand idle after each deadly shooting, failing to take action. We know that we won’t be able to stop every tragedy, but we absolutely can save lives.”

“Congress must act to confront the rising death toll from gun violence – from the day-to-day crime in our neighborhoods, to mass-shootings like those we’ve seen in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. Inaction is complicity,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Assault weapons are becoming the weapon of choice for mass shooters and this common-sense bill will help get dangerous weapons off our streets and save lives. The American people need us to act now, and I urge my colleagues to take up this legislation immediately.”

Key Provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners can 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 can 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 can keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to the Bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes. This list will be updated to include additional weapons.
  • 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.

Joining Senators Cardin, Van Hollen, and Feinstein on the bill are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Conn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

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