In the wake of the mass shooting in Arizona this weekend, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) plans to introduce legislation prohibiting the manufacture and sale of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, his office said in a statement to TPM Monday.
Arizona shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner allegedly used a high-capacity magazine in the shooting that killed a federal judge and five others and severally wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Lautenberg is working with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on the legislation, his office said.
“The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly,” Lautenberg said. “These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market. 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.”
High-capacity ammunition magazines were illegal under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 to 2004. 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,” according to a press release.
Lautenberg’s office said in the release that 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.”
Attorney General Eric Holder supported the federal gun ban back in the spring of 2009, but later backed off after resistance from the gun lobby. Spokesmen from the Justice Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the administration’s position on Lautenberg’s proposal.
Here’s video of Holder speaking about the assault weapons ban at his confirmation hearing.