High capacity ammo ban similar to NJ’s could become federal law
One of New Jersey’s U.S. senators has reintroduced gun control legislation that would essentially bring the state’s ban on high-capacity weapons to the federal level.
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez on Wednesday outlined the proposed ban on gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition, dubbed the “Keep Americans Safe Act.”
He was joined by fellow Democrat, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, who re-introduced the legislation in Congress.
New Jersey lowered the number of rounds of ammo allowed for gun owners from 15 to 10 in 2018, with an exception carved out for law enforcement, as signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.
Similarly, the federal legislation as written has limited exceptions, including for certain current and former law enforcement personnel.
The state’s high capacity magazine ban has withstood at least two courtroom challenges claiming a violation of constitutional rights. The most recent appeal was decided last year.
The federal measure applies to owning, importing, selling, manufacturing or transferring such high-capacity magazines, which Menendez and Deutch note have been used in a number of the deadliest mass shootings in the nation.
“High-capacity magazines are good for one thing and one thing only—high-capacity killing,” Menendez said in a written statement.
The bill has been re-introduced just days ahead of the commemorations of two of the country’s deadliest mass shootings involving high-capacity magazines.
Friday marks 14 years since the Virginia Tech massacre, in which an undergraduate student shot 49 people on campus with two semi-automatic pistols, killing 32 and wounding 17.
Tuesday will mark 22 years since the Columbine High School shooting, in which a pair of students murdered 10 classmates and one teacher before shooting and killing themselves.
Large capacity magazines can be used with any semi-automatic firearm that accepts a detachable magazine, including handguns.
They also have been used in all ten of the country’s deadliest mass shootings in the last decade, according to the Giffords Law Center.
In mass shootings between 1990 and 2017, attacks that involved large capacity magazines saw a 62% higher death toll, according to analysis published in 2019 by the American Journal of Public Health.