Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) announced his cosponsorship of legislation authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to ban military-style assault weapons. The bill, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, would prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of 157 military-style assault weapons, like the ones used in recent mass shootings across the country.
"I've long been a supporter of the Second Amendment, and I'm a gun owner myself. But I also favor common sense proposals to reduce gun violence," said Sen. Carper. "In the wake of Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, and countless other shootings across America, it's time to renew a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. These weapons were designed for the battlefield, and simply put, they don't belong in Delaware neighborhoods."
The legislation would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 157 of the most commonly-owned military-style assault weapons. It also bans an additional group of assault weapons that can accept a detachable ammunition magazine and have one or more military characteristics. It also protects the rights of law-abiding citizens who use guns for hunting, household defense or legitimate recreational purposes by including a grandfather clause that specifically exempts all assault weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment from the ban.
The legislation also excludes more than 2,200 legitimate hunting and sporting rifles by specific make and model; any gun manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement. Other provisions include: requiring background checks on all future transfers of assault weapons covered by the legislation, including sale, trade and gift; requiring that grandfathered assault weapons be stored safely using a secure gun storage or safety device in order to keep them away from prohibited persons; and prohibiting the sale or transfer of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices currently in existence.
Other cosponsors include Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).