Engel, House Dems Introduce Assault Weapons Ban of 2018

Engel, House Dems Introduce Assault Weapons Ban of 2018

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, joined more than 150 Democratic colleagues in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018, which would make it “unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.”

“As I have said many times before: the Second Amendment wasn’t written with semi-automatic weapons in mind. They are weapons of war and no fair-minded person would confuse regulating them with infringing on personal freedom,” Congressman Engel said. “It’s long past time Congress did something to stop this horrific gun violence, and there is no better place to start than getting these weapons of war off our streets.”

The Assault Weapons Ban will prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of:

  • Semi-automatic rifles and handguns with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine;
  • Semi-automatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;
  • Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature;
  • Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds;
  • And 205 specifically-named and listed firearms.

As the frequency of mass shootings has increased in recent years, assault weapons have become the weapon of choice for these murderers. Assault weapons were used in attacks on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas. Shooters have also used assault weapons to commit mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. When an assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine is used in a shooting, the number of victims who are killed increases by 63%. There have been almost 8,300 incidents of gun violence so far in 2018. More than 2,200 Americans have lost their lives. More than 500 children have been killed or injured.

“I voted for the original assault weapons ban which unfortunately was allowed to lapse under President George W. Bush,” Engel said. “Now we can’t afford to waste another moment without fixing that mistake. This really shouldn’t be a partisan issue—how many more children have to die before the GOP decides to act? Banning assault weapons, universal background checks, limiting magazine capacities; these aren’t outlandish ideas. This stuff is commonsense and my colleagues across the aisle need to wake up and realize that. They work for the American people, not the NRA.”