WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker joined a group of 29 of their Democratic colleagues in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. The bill will ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.

“There is absolutely no reason at all for anyone to buy an assault weapon,” said Sen. Menendez. “These high power firearms have one sole purpose – to commit mass murder. In the past few years, mass shootings have killed children and torn apart way too many families. It’s about time Congress implements commonsense gun safety legislation and puts an end to senseless murder.”

“Every single day we don’t act to end the epidemic of gun violence in this country, dozens and dozens of Americans are killed,” Sen. Booker said. “To not act is to be complicit in the continued violence. This assault weapons ban is a common-sense solution, supported by a majority of Americans, that will keep weapons meant for the battlefield outside of our schools, movie theaters, churches, and other public places. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue – it’s a matter of public health and safety.”

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Key provisions:

•           Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.

•           Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable 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.

•           Bans 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.

Exemptions to bill:

•           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.

Other provisions:

•           Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.

•           Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.

•           Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

•           Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Updates to Assault Weapons Ban of 2017:

•           Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”

•           Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.

•           Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.

•           Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.

Yesterday, the senators introduced the Background Check Expansion Act.

Sen. Menendez has been one of the leading voices in Congress for commonsense gun safety.

Sen. Menendez, who voted for the original Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 as a member of the House of Representatives, has cosponsored legislation to reinstate the assault weapons ban. He has also sponsored legislation to expand background checks and close the gun show loophole, outlaw “bump stocks” and other devices that make semiautomatic weapons fully automatic, prevent those on the Terror Watch List from purchasing guns, and improve access to mental health and addiction treatment.

Sens. Menendez and Booker were joined by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).