Pingree Joins Effort to Ban Assault Weapons & High Capacity Magazines

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) at a Memorial Day Address Several Years Ago.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) at a Memorial Day Address Several Years Ago.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,506)

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) yesterday joined Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) and other colleagues to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban of  2015 and prohibit the sale, transfer, production and importation of new military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are the weapon of choice for mass shooters in the United States. We cannot continue to stand by as these weapons of war are bought and sold freely,” Pingree said  “I’m proud to be a sponsor of the Assault Weapons Bank of 2015.  This bill will save lives and reduce the toll of gun violence in our country,” she wrote in a press release issued by her office yesterday.

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 will prohibit the sale, transfer, production and importance 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 hod more than 10 rounds; semi-automatic shotguns with a miiitary-style feature; any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds; and  158 specifically-named and listed firearms.

The bill also sets new standards to prevent “default proceeds” – the standard that allows firearms dealers to complete a sale if a buyer’s background check is not completed within three days.  Under the proposed law, the background check period will be extended to 14 days for the sale or transfer of an existing assault weapon, if it is determined that a gun was sold to a prohibited individual, the FBI will be required to notify federal, state, and local law enforcement so the weapon can be retrieved as quickly as possible and the  buyer can be held accountable for violating federal law.

Ciciline, the bill’s author, pointed to the use of assault weapons in mass shootings around the country.

“More than half of all mass shooters who killed four or more people used an assault weapon.  That’s because the sole purpose of an assault weapon is to inflict as much damage as possible in as short an amount of time as possible,” Cicline said.  “This bill is an important first step that will restore some sanity to the way we treat guns in the United States.”

Assault weapons were used in attacks last month in San Brenardino and Colorado Springs.  Shooters also used them to commit mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado and a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.  When an assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine is used in a shooting, the number of victims who are killed increases by 63%.