Congressman Introduces Two New Gun Control Bills

Thomas DiGennaro | @tom.digennaro

Representative Ted Deutch introduced two new gun control bills in the House of Representatives, the National Firearms Amendments Act of 2019 and the Keep Americans Safe Act, which impose new restrictions on detachable magazines and semi-automatic firearms. If passed, the National Firearms Amendments Act of 2019 would subject all semiautomatic rifles to the stringent National Firearms Act (NFA) requirements.  Meanwhile, the Keep Americans Safe Act would ban all magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds.

HR 1263

The bill is titled the National Firearms Amendments Act of 2019. After Deutch introduced the bill, it was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. If passed, owners of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines will have 120 days to register their firearms and comply with the NFA regulations. The bill also appropriates the necessary funds to the ATF to enforce the legislation upon passage.

The NFA currently involves regulations such as a $200 tax, fingerprinting, an extensive background check, registration, and requires ATF permission to transport across state lines.

Opposition to Detachable Magazines

In wake of numerous mass shootings that involve semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, many feel that these weapons should not be commonly owned. While most standard detachable magazines hold 30 rounds, some extended magazines can hold 100 rounds. Many gun control advocates believe that reducing the availability of guns that a shooter can load with extended magazines could reduce the number of deaths in such tragedies.

The Counter Argument

Many gun rights advocates argue that subjecting such weapons to NFA regulation is unreasonable, as well as ineffective to deterring violence. Adding NFA restrictions creates an excessive number of hoops for law-abiding gun owners to jump through to obtain commonly-used firearms. Additionally, NFA laws have been upheld in court due to the fact that they are not commonly used. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that there is a Second Amendment right to own firearms in common use.

HR 1168

If passed, the Keep Americans Safe Act would cap all magazines at 10 rounds. This legislation would impose a federal ban on common magazines, including standard 30 round magazines used in AR-15 rifles. Unlike HR 11263, HR 1168 is now in the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Support for Magazine Capacity Limits

Proponents of gun control argue that larger-capacity magazines make firearms more deadly. They also argue that banning high-capacity magazines would make mass shooting events harder for criminals. Additionally, proponents argue that there were fewer mass shootings under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which included a ban on high-capacity magazines

The Opposition

Gun rights advocates argue that a ban only limits the magazine capacity of legal gun owners, not criminals. Additionally, some of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history, including Columbine, happened while the ban on high-capacity magazines was in effect.

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