Democrats propose ban on high-capacity gun magazines
© Haiyun Jiang

The House Democrat who represents the site of a shooting at an elementary school has introduced a bill in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre to ban guns with enhanced firing capability.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s (D-Conn.) district includes Newtown, where a gunman fatally shot 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013.

Nearly four years later, Esty is leading an effort to prohibit the transfer or possession of gun magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition.


“The horror that the shooter at Sandy Hook was able to inflict with high-capacity magazines is something I have never forgotten,” Esty said in a statement. “I became more convinced after every mass shooting that large-capacity magazines serve no other viable purpose but to maximize the loss of human life.”

“There is simply no good reason why sportsmen and women need more than ten rounds in a magazine. No sportsman or woman needs thirty rounds to kill a deer,” Esty added.

Her bill currently has 85 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrats. But it’s unlikely to move forward in the GOP-controlled House.

Earlier this week, Reps. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloPelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House The Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback MORE (R-Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) introduced bipartisan legislation to ban devices to make semi-automatic weapons fire faster, known as “bump stocks.”

Law enforcement authorities found that the Las Vegas shooter had 12 bump stocks attached to rifles in his hotel room.

The Las Vegas mass shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history, with nearly 60 deaths and more than 500 wounded.

A growing number of Republicans in Congress have expressed support for banning bump stocks, but not all are eager to cast votes on legislation that could hurt their standing with gun rights groups. Only 12 Republicans have co-sponsored Curbelo and Moulton’s bill so far.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick GOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has proposed a similar bill in the upper chamber.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) said Thursday that it opposes legislation to ban the use of bump stocks.

“These bills are intentionally overreaching and would ban commonly owned firearm accessories,” said Jennifer Baker, the director of public affairs for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

However, the NRA has called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review bump stock devices to ensure they comply with federal law that bans fully automatic weapons.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.) also recommended using a regulatory route to ban the devices.

“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and I’d frankly like to know how it happened in the first place,” Ryan said at a Capitol news conference this week.