Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO1) and Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) today introduced legislation today to ban the high-capacity assault magazines that have facilitated high numbers of casualties in almost every recent mass shooting in American history.
"These assault magazines help put the 'mass' in 'mass shooting' and anything we can do to stop their proliferation will save lives in America," Rep. McCarthy said. "These devices are used to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible and we owe it to innocent Americans everywhere to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people. We don't even allow hunters to use them - something's deeply wrong if we're protecting game more than we're protecting innocent human beings."
"Since I came to Congress, I have been working to protect our children and our families from senseless gun violence," Rep. DeGette said. "Recent tragedies have only heightened the need, and that is why Rep. McCarthy and I are reintroducing our bill to ban high-capacity assault magazines. While there is no single answer to stopping these massacres, this bill is a step that will go a long way toward making our country safe."
The High Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, as the bill is formally known, bans the sale or transfer of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Such a standard was federal law between 1994 and 2004, when the assault weapons ban was in effect, and it is state law in many parts of the United States. Magazines are available today in capacities of up to 100 and even more.
Law enforcement officials and analysts have cited the direct role that magazine capacity plays in ensuring the high numbers of casualties in mass shootings. Often, as in the cases of Tucson, Arizona and the Long Island Railroad, the carnage ends when the shooters run out of bullets and stop to reload, at which point they are stopped by bystanders.