first published on January 10, 2019 by Josh
On January 9, 2019, Senators Dianne FEnstein, Chris Murphy, and Richard Blumenthal proposed an updated assault weapons ban for 2019. The bill, if passed into law, will ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of weapons that have been defined as “Assault Weapons,” as well as wrongly classified high capacity magazines. Co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
They Key Provisions of the bill will ban the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may 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 may keep existing weapons. It also 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 may keep existing magazines. The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes. It also includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment. Other provisions inside of the bill require a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill. It also 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.
Inside of this bill are also several updates to the Firearms Ban of 2017. These updates include the ban of stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.” Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban. Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately. Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.
This entire bill was proposed on the backs of several mass shootings that have happened in 2018, including the Parkland School Shooting, and the Las Vegas concert shooting. “Last year we saw tens of thousands of students nationwide take to the streets to demand action to stop mass shootings and stem the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our communities. Our youngest generation has grown up with active-shooter drills, hiding under their desks—and now they’re saying enough is enough,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein. “Americans across the nation are asking Congress to reinstate the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. If we’re going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets.”