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Blumenthal To Offer Amendment To Ban High-Capacity Magazines

Blumenthal Will Offer Amendment On Behalf Of Senator Lautenberg, Joined By Senators Murphy, Feinstein

Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced that he will offer an amendment (Amdt. 714) to the Senate’s gun violence prevention bill (S.649) that would limit ammunition magazines to ten rounds, a limit that would help prevent law enforcement from being outgunned and save countless lives. Blumenthal, joined by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), will offer the amendment on behalf of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

“This amendment would save lives by helping to deprive mass murderers of a key means of massacre," Blumenthal said. "Mass shooters know that high-capacity magazines allow them to take more lives, more rapidly. That is why Adam Lanza left his regular-sized magazines behind and relied on high-capacity magazines during the Newtown shooting. And that is also why high-capacity magazines have been used in half of all mass shootings over the last thirty years. Children escaped the slaughter when Adam Lanza changed magazines. More magazine changes might have helped save more lives. We also know that the 13th bullet fired by Jared Loughner in Tucson killed nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. Even if we cannot stop all killers, we can make them less lethal.” 

“I introduced legislation to ban high-capactity magazines after the horrific Tucson shooting and have been working hard for two years to get this vote," Lautenberg said. "Banning high-capacity magazines is supported by most Americans and is one of the most simple, common-sense actions we can take to reduce gun violence.  I call on my Senate colleagues to put the safety of our families above the special interests of the NRA and stand with us to ban high-capacity magazines.  We owe it to the families of Newtown, Tucson, and Aurora and all gun violence victims to pass this measure." 

"Large-capacity ammunition feeding devices make weapons especially lethal, allowing shooters to fire 15, 30, even 100 rounds or more without having to pause and reload. In many cases, it is only when a shooter must swap magazines that police or bystanders have a chance to take the shooter down," Feinstein said. "These high-capacity magazines have a singular purpose—to fire as many rounds as quickly as possible. A majority of Americans support this ban. So it’s time to stand up to the gun lobby and ban these devices from our schools, our malls, our theaters and our workplaces.”

“We know now that there are little boys and girls alive in Newtown today because the gunman had to stop and switch magazines,” Murphy said. “A ban on military-style high capacity magazines, like the one we are proposing today, will save lives in episodes of mass violence. A full two-thirds of Americans support this common sense measure—it’s time that Members of Congress remember who they represent here, do the right thing, and pass this bill.” 

A Fox News poll released on March 22 found that a majority of Americans support a ban on high-capacity magazines. There is evidence that such bans are effective. From 1994 to 2004, the United States had a ban on the sale of magazines capable of firing more than 10 rounds. The 1994 ban led to a very significant reduction in the number of guns with high-capacity magazines that were recovered by police. 

The amendment would also prohibit the importation of high-capacity magazines, which would close a loophole that existed in the 1994 ban and lead to an even greater reduction in the number of such devices in circulation. In addition, the amendment would provide funding for a buy-back program for existing high-capacity magazines already in circulation. Owners of high-capacity magazines would not be forced to participate in the buy-back program, but, instead, have the option of doing so. Over time, this program would also reduce the number of high-capacity magazines in circulation. 

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