Rep. Payne, Jr. Joins Push for Assault Weapons Ban

Feb 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., is an original cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

“Gun violence has inflicted a terrible toll on men, women, and children all across America,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10). “From 1994 to 2004, semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices were illegal in the United States. Since the prohibition ended, these weapons have increasingly been used in ordinary crimes of violence and mass shootings. The Assault Weapons Ban introduced today is a reasonable bill that would help reduce gun violence in the United States and keep America’s children safe.”

The Assault Weapons Ban would 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.

“Assault weapons were made for one purpose. They are designed to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time. They do not belong in our communities,” said U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI-01), the House sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban. “I am proud to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban with the support of leaders in law enforcement. It’s on all of us to end this carnage.”

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.

Clarence Cox III and Vera Bumpers of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives said, “While NOBLE supports this legislation, we also understand as law enforcement that it will not completely resolve the gun violence in our country. However, it is movement toward disrupting gun violence.  Our children deserve to be protected, and adults have an obligation to never forget that. NOBLE would also like the House to consider addressing the new ‘Ghost Gun.’  The ‘Ghost Gun’ is of grave concern to law enforcement. These guns allow individuals to legally purchase components and once all components have been assembled can create an assault weapon, there are currently no procedures in place to detect these weapons. These assault weapons will have no serial number and are commonly referred to as ‘Ghost Guns.’”

Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum added, “Assault weapons have no legitimate purpose on the streets of America. Their sole purpose is to enable shooters to rapidly kill large numbers of people, so it is no surprise that these high-power firearms have become the weapon of choice for mass killers. Prohibiting the manufacture and sale of assault weapons, and the high-capacity magazines they carry, would require shooters to stop and reload, providing opportunities to take down an active shooter. The 1994 assault weapons ban was effective until it expired in 2004. During the time it was in effect, police agencies saw decreases in criminals’ use of assault weapons.  These favorable trends reversed when the ban expired. Assault weapons have been used in Parkland, in Las Vegas, in Orlando, in Sutherland Springs, in San Bernardino, and in many other mass shootings. Congress must act now to reduce the death toll.”

“WIFLE Foundation, Inc. supports Congressman Cicilline’s efforts to propose legislation that prohibits the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of semi-automatic weapons and ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds,” said Catherine W. Sanz, President of the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Foundation. “We also support the protection of sporting and hunting rifles and the use of assault weapons by law enforcement and the military.”

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.