For Release: Thursday, March 11, 2021
Washington, DC – Following introduction today of House and Senate bills to ban semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, Violence Policy Center (VPC) Legislative Director Kristen Rand issued the following statement:
“Semiautomatic assault weapons equipped with large-capacity ammunition magazines incorporate characteristics specifically designed to make these guns more lethal on the battlefield, yet under federal law they are sold as easily as bolt-action hunting rifles. As a result of the gun industry’s hyper-marketing of these military-bred weapons, they are consistently used by civilians to carry out unspeakable atrocities, including mass shootings (see http://vpc.org/fact_sht/VPCshootinglist.pdf). In addition to being the weapons of choice of domestic terrorists, U.S.-manufactured assault weapons are also amassed by criminal enterprises in Mexico and used to terrorize citizens and threaten civil order.
“Assault weapons also pose a demonstrable threat to law enforcement. A new VPC analysis of FBI data shows that one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty from 2016 to 2018 were killed with assault weapons (see https://vpc.org/press/new-data-shows-one-in-five-law-enforcement-officers-slain-in-the-line-of-duty-from-2016-to-2018-were-felled-by-an-assault-weapon/).
“The VPC applauds the leadership of Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Representative David Cicilline (RI) on this issue. This bill is essential to demilitarizing civilian firepower and helping make us all safer.”