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Dems introduce bill banning assault weapons

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineBustos announces bid to become fourth-ranking Dem next year Democrat launches bid for assistant leader Hillicon Valley: Manafort to cooperate with Mueller probe | North Korea blasts US over cyber complaint | Lawmakers grill Google over China censorship | Bezos to reveal HQ2 location by year's end MORE (D-R.I.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchDems damp down hopes for climate change agenda House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations Reporter tops lawmakers to win charity spelling bee 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 renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing 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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