Dems introduce bill banning assault weapons

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHere are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act Rhode Island lawmaker makes pitch to firms boycotting Georgia abortion law MORE (D-R.I.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers Overnight Energy: Bipartisan climate caucus eyes litmus test for new members| Green groups want freeze on Keystone construction| Bernhardt sworn in as Secretary of Interior Overnight Energy: Bipartisan climate caucus eyes litmus test for new members | Greens want freeze on Keystone construction | Bernhardt sworn in as Interior chief 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 TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens 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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