WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and 32 Democratic colleagues in reintroducing legislation to regulate assault weapons.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and import of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and other high-capacity ammunition feeding devices. This includes the gun used by a shooter on January 22 to kill 11 people and injure 9 more at a Lunar New Year’s celebration in Monterey Park, CA.
“Communities throughout our country and the Commonwealth of Virginia have experienced the pain brought on by gun violence time and time again,” the Senators said. “While this legislation will not prevent every senseless act of gun violence, it is a reasonable step that will take high-capacity weapons off the street.”
Specifically the Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 would:
- Ban the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
- Ban any assault weapon with the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
- Ban magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
- Require a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon permitted by the bill.
- Prohibit the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
- Ban bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.
- The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
- The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.
Joining Sens. Warner, Kaine, Feinstein, Blumenthal, and Murphy in introducing this legislation are Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brain Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Sens. Warner and Kaine have been active supporters of increased gun violence prevention measures in response to frequent mass shootings across the country. Last year, the senators voted in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – landmark legislation to curb gun violence.