Democrats propose ban on high-capacity magazines in wake of Las Vegas attack

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Members of This House of Representatives to Present Laws to Prohibit magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition

Democrats are planning to introduce laws to prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines in the aftermath of the Las Vegas assault that left at least 59 people dead and nearly 500 more wounded.

The proposed ban on the transport, importation, or possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition follows separate laws to prohibit “bump stocks”, the novelty device that Stephen Paddock appears to have used to create semi-automatic rifles mimic the quick firing of a fully automatic weapon.

Researchers have clarified a ban on magazines as the part of the now lapsed 1994 assault weapon ban, since magazines make it more easy for a shooter.

The seven-year-old son of Mark Barden, whose, said lives would be saved by a ban on magazines.

“When a individual perpetrates a mass shooting, like the person who took the life of my sweet little Daniel, the capacity of a magazine could often determine how many bullets are fired until the shooter is stopped. Each time a shooter must float to reload can offer an chance for bystanders or law authorities to disarm, divert, or escape — every time can save so many lives,” Barden said in a statement.

“Establishing a maximum magazine capacity is simply the type of commonsense action we could all agree on to help make our communities and families safe.”

It has endorsed limitations on magazine capacity, although Sandy Hook Promise, the violence prevention firm that he helped found, hasn’t endorsed a ban on assault weapons.

Larger magazine sizes, like 15- or 30-round magazines, are common among American recreational shooters, and bigger magazines are available for sale that is legal.

While larger capacity magazines are most closely connected to the death and injury toll on mass shootings, a 2016 analysis from the Baltimore Sun found they play an increasingly prominent part in gang-related violence in cities like Baltimore, where the city’s medical examiner found that the amount of cadavers with 10 or more bullets had more than doubled in the last ten years. Gun violence in several cities nationally are becoming more lethal in the last couple of years, the analysis found, with sufferers more likely to die of their wounds despite advances in emergency medical care.

Gun rights advocates say the pause to reload when magazines is quite short and unlikely to have a considerable effect on casualties, and that arbitrarily restricting magazine dimensions could be costly and inconvenient.

These advocates say it isn’t hard to make capacity magazines even when they are not available for purchase. Chris Koper, the researcher that evaluated the 1994 assault weapon ban, estimated that renewed limits on the size of ammunition magazines might lead, in the long term, to some 1% decrease in shootings every year. This was only a “reasonable ballpark estimate”, he cautioned.

A similar attempt to ban magazines failed after the Sandy Hook shooting in the US Senate in 2013, with 46 senators approving the measure and 54 voting against it.

The newest high-capacity magazine prohibit laws will be introduced in the House by Elizabeth Esty, a Democratic congresswoman who represents Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, and lots of Democratic House members from Nevada, where the Las Vegas shooting took place.

Passing gun control law remains an uphill struggle in a Republican-controlled Congress.

Some Republican legislators facing demanding re-election campaigns have endorsed a legal ban on bump shares, a little-known “range toy” that appears to have been employed in Las Vegas, the most peculiar mass shooting in recent American history.

But other Republicans, including the House speaker, Paul Ryan, have stated that they consider the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are going to be able to regulate “bump stocks” appropriately with no new law.

The ATF previously ruled that bump stocks did not collapse under the law of national firearms laws, including the legislation that strictly governs entirely automatic weapons.

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