Dems introduce bill banning assault weapons

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineDem rep slams Facebook: It 'cannot be trusted to regulate itself' Number of LGBT lawmakers in Congress hits double digits Momentum builds for Dems to take on campaign finance reform MORE (D-R.I.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot Deutch3 ways House Dems can fight climate change when sweeping policy is off the table Florida Dem rep: Scott is 'spinning conspiracy theories' With Democrats controlling the House, a bipartisan climate solution is possible MORE (D-Fla.) formally introduced a bill on Monday to ban assault weapons.

The legislation, called the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018, was introduced less than two weeks after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead. The gunman used an AR-15 during the shooting, one of the many firearms that would be banned under the bill.

Gun-control activists call the AR-15 an assault weapon while gun advocates dispute that claim, noting the AR-15 is not fully automatic and stands for Armalite Rifle — the company that developed the weapon. 

The Democratic legislation would make it “unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.”

However, the ban wouldn't apply to semi-automatic weapons that were "lawfully possessed" when the measure went into effect.

The bill also requires the attorney general to create a public record of semiautomatic assault weapons that have been used in crimes.

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Deutch had promised to introduce such a ban during a CNN town hall event last week.

The new legislation is the latest attempt by Democrats to implement a ban on the guns since the Federal Assault Weapons ban expired in 2004.

The White House has already come out against such a ban, which is strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association.

“[President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE] campaigned for president and was opposed to the assault weapons ban, and his position hasn't changed on that,” a spokesman said.

This article was updated and clarified at 7:53 p.m. on Feb. 27. 

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