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Dems introduce bill banning assault weapons
Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ted Deutch (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.
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 Trump] 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.