Prohibit high-capacity magazines (Rep. Carolyn McCarthy)

I believe there are many aspects of our nation’s gun laws that deserve close scrutiny and updating. One place that I think we should start, however, is looking at the availability of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. This includes magazines that can hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. The only purpose for the existence of these devices is to be able to shoot as many people as possible as quickly as possible. There is no reason that these devices should be available to the general public.

The legislation that I will be introducing will prohibit the transfer, importation, or possession of high capacity magazines manufactured after the bill is enacted. Many of these devices exist currently and it would be impractical and unwise to attempt to ban their possession – criminalizing individuals who purchased the device legally. Instead, the bill will prohibit the transfer of those devices currently in existence. This allows individuals who currently own the devices to legally retain possession but works to prevent the spread of the devices by making it illegal to transfer them to another individual.

It is a sad fact of reality that we will never be able to prevent every instance of gun violence. We also will not be able to keep these large capacity magazines out of the hands of every criminal who would use them. This reality, however, does not make our efforts irrelevant. Instead, it makes our efforts even more vital. The legislation that I will introduce will reduce the available supply of these large capacity magazines, making it more difficult for individuals to acquire them. Though it will remain impossible to estimate, I believe that the increased difficulty in obtaining these devices will reduce their use and ultimately save lives.

I encourage all Members of Congress to join me in this commonsense effort to protect American families.