As Congress prepares to take up gun safety reform legislation, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and I are applauding the bipartisan Mayors Against Illegal Guns for officially endorsing their bills to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, is a coalition of more than 850 Republican and Democratic mayors from big cities and small towns across the country. The support letter can be viewed here.
The evolution of over 850 Republican and Democratic mayors to come to formally endorsing our legislation to restrict high-capacity magazines is a major development and reflects just how much the American public has become fed up with a gun manufacturing lobby that’s putting its profits before the lives of people.
I commend the Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Mayor Michael Bloomberg especially for their leadership and commitment to saving lives and reducing injuries through commonsense gun safety laws.
The Lautenberg and McCarthy proposal to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds is a major component of President Obama’s gun safety plan.
The “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act” would 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.
From 1994 to 2004, these high-capacity ammunition magazines were illegal as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Since that time, high-capacity clips have been legal to manufacture and sell under federal law.
Lautenberg and I introduced our bills after a high-capacity ammunition magazine was used to carry out the shooting spree in Tucson, allowing the shooter to fire off 33 bullets in just 15 seconds. The shooter was subdued when he stopped to reload. In addition to the Tucson tragedy, high-capacity magazines were used in mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Aurora, Oak Creek and Newtown.
Lautenberg’s bill in the Senate is co-sponsored by Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and William “Mo” Cowan (D-MA).
My House bill has the support of 79 cosponsors.
Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney have expressed support for reinstating the ban on high-capacity magazines in the past, and polls show that 65 percent of Americans support such a ban.
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.