Newsroom: Press Releases
Lautenberg Statement on Legislation to Ban High-Capacity Gun Clips
Lautenberg Press Office, 202-224-3224
Monday, January 10, 2011NEWARK, N.J. – Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) released the following statement on his plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit the manufacture and sale of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, such as the high-capacity magazine used by Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner. Lautenberg is working with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on the legislation.
“The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly. These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market,” Lautenberg said. “Before 2004, these ammunition clips were banned, and they must be banned again. When the Senate returns to Washington, I will introduce legislation to prohibit this type of high-capacity clip.”
From 1994 – 2004, high-capacity ammunition magazines (“clips”) were illegal as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. When the ban expired in 2004, Republican leaders in Congress pledged to not resurrect it. Since that time, high-capacity clips (more than 10 rounds at a time) have been legal to manufacture and sell.
Senator Lautenberg’s bill, which will be introduced when the Senate returns to session in two weeks, would ban ammunition clips that have a capacity of, or that could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. That standard was the law before 2004.
According to reports, in the Tuscon shooting, Jared Loughner used a high-capacity 33-round magazine clip in his Glock 19 pistol. The high-capacity magazine allowed Loughner to fire off 33 bullets without having to manually reload. Given that bystanders apprehended him as he attempted to change clips, if Loughner did not have access to the high-capacity magazine that he used, it may have prevented some of the other deaths and injuries that occurred.