LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Federal legislation introduced Monday by U.S. Rep. Dina Titus and two other House Democrats would outlaw gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
The Keep Americans Safe Act takes aims at all aspects of making, selling or possessing high-capacity magazines. Titus, D-Nev., said the legislation would “protect the families, law enforcement and community members” in the district she represents and across the country.
“Nevadans and all Americans deserve to be free from the scourge of mass shootings plaguing our country,” Titus said. “I pledge to continue working with my colleagues in Congress to pass commonsense legislation that will keep them safe.”
Titus announced last week renewed a bipartisan effort to ban bump stocks — the devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire as if they were fully automatic.
Second Amendment advocates and the gun control lobby will likely fight any attempt to take away Americans’ right to weapons. State laws are being challenged in court.
By one estimate, between 2009 and 2020, high-capacity magazines led to five times as many victims in mass shootings, according to a news release announcing the new legislation. From 2009 to 2018 more than half of all mass shootings involved guns with high-capacity magazines.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., are also sponsoring the bill. The following organizations support the Keep Americans Safe Act:
- Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
- Sandy Hook Promise
- March for Our Lives
- Center for American Progress
“No one in this country needs a magazine that holds 60 or 100 rounds,” DeGette said. “These magazines aren’t for hunting, they were designed for war.”
Talking about a mass shooting in Illinois, Schneider said, “On July 4th at the crowded Highland Park Independence Day Parade, a deranged gunman used a semiautomatic rifle with high-capacity magazines to fire 83 rounds in under one minute—murdering 7 people, wounding more than 40 others, and traumatizing an entire community.”
The legislation would prohibit the importation, sale, possession, or transfer of high or large-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than fifteen rounds; providing limited exceptions for devices possessed before enactment and for certain current and former law enforcement.
“High-capacity magazines are designed to kill en masse–allowing a shooter to fire off dozens of bullets without having to reload. These weapons of war are all too often used in mass shootings across the country and are responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people,” Schneider said. “That’s why I helped reintroduce the Keep Americans Safe Act to ban high-capacity magazines, which would go a long way in reducing the lethality of mass shootings like the one in Highland Park and saving precious lives.”
The legislation also seeks serial numbers to help law enforcement track devices, a buyback program using federal funds, and a provision to allow the destruction of weapons when they are seized.