Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) applauded President Obama for appointing Vice President Joe Biden to lead a national task force examining gun violence and presenting concrete policy proposals in the coming month. Senator Lautenberg is one of Congress' leading voices for gun safety, and is the author of legislation to ban high-capacity magazines. In addition, Senator Lautenberg has led the effort to close the "gun show loophole" and to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.
"The tragedy in Newtown may very well be the tipping point in America for addressing the scourge of gun violence. As more and more Americans step up to say that our gun laws are broken, President Obama is right that "words need to lead to action,'" Senator Lautenberg said. "Vice President Joe Biden is a long-time advocate for gun safety reform, and we worked closely on these issues when he was in the Senate. Make no mistake, this task force will not be used to punt on gun safety reform, it will be used to advance reasonable reforms that protect children and families from senseless acts of gun violence. My legislation to ban high-capacity magazines and require background checks at gun shows are two common-sense reforms and I am pleased that the President acknowledged the widespread public support for these efforts and the need to bring them to a vote in a "timely manner.'"
At the beginning of the 112th Congress, in the wake of the Tucson shootings, 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. This week, 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.
Senator Lautenberg also introduced legislation to close the "gun show loophole"--a significant loophole in U.S. law that allows guns to be sold, even to criminals and terrorists, without background checks at gun shows. Lautenberg's bill would require that sellers at gun shows perform the same background checks that licensed gun dealers are required to perform under the Brady Law, and mirrors Lautenberg legislation that passed the Senate in the wake of the Columbine tragedy in 1999. Additional Lautenberg gun reform measures include a bill to close a loophole that allows known and suspected terrorists to purchase guns legally and a bill to effectively ban the online sale of ammunition.