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Lautenberg Calls for Immediate Senate Passage of High-Capacity Magazine Ban, Urges Colleagues to Support Bill

Press Release

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Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) called on the Senate to immediately pass a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. Lautenberg also asked his Senate colleagues to add their names as co-sponsors of his legislation to ban high-capacity magazines, which were used in the attacks in Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, Tucson, and Virginia Tech, among others.

"The events that took place on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut have left us broken-hearted. This latest shooting tragedy was an unthinkable act of violence carried out against 20 innocent children and seven adults. As we reflect on this, and far too many other mass shootings, one lesson is clear: the Senate shouldn't wait another day to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines," Lautenberg wrote to his colleagues. "High-capacity magazines are used by soldiers fighting wars; they do not belong on our streets and in our communities."

At the beginning of the 112th Congress, in the wake of the Tucson shooting, Senator Lautenberg introduced his "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act" to prohibit the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that have a capacity of, or could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The legislation is currently cosponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), John Kerry (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Yesterday, Lautenberg announced his plans to reintroduce the bill on the first day of the 113th Congress if it is not passed in the coming weeks.

Their letter can be viewed below:

Dear Colleague:

The events that took place on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut have left us broken-hearted. This latest shooting tragedy was an unthinkable act of violence carried out against 20 innocent children and seven adults. As we reflect on this, and far too many other mass shootings, one lesson is clear: the Senate shouldn't wait another day to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.

High-capacity magazines allow dozens of bullets to be discharged without reloading. Such magazines were used in the attacks in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; and Blacksburg, Virginia. The Aurora shooting suspect had a 100-round ammunition magazine that he used with a semi-automatic rifle. If his rifle had not jammed, that magazine would have allowed him to inflict even more carnage than the 12 deaths and 58 injuries he actually caused. The Tucson shooter used a 30-round magazine in his assault that left six people dead and 14 others wounded, including our former colleague, Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The shooter was stopped by a group of heroic bystanders who were able to tackle him only when he attempted to reload. If the shooter had not been using a high-capacity magazine, he would have stopped to reload earlier and lives might have been saved. And as details of the Newtown tragedy emerge, it appears that the shooter used high-capacity magazines to fire dozens of rounds of ammunition inside the halls and classrooms of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

These high-capacity magazines were illegal from 1994 to 2004. In fact, Democrats and Republicans alike--including former President George W. Bush--called for the reinstatement of this sensible law in 2004, yet it was never renewed. High-capacity magazines are used by soldiers fighting wars; they do not belong on our streets and in our communities.

It's time to reinstate the common sense ban on high-capacity magazines. I urge you to join in co-sponsoring S. 32, The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, which bans the manufacture and transfer of magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Boxer, Durbin, Feinstein, Franken, Kerry, Levin, Menendez, Reed, Schumer, Gillibrand, Cardin, and Whitehouse.

Sincerely,


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