The House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to reinstate a nationwide ban on high-capacity gun magazines. The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado. According to a release from Rep. Degette’s office, the legislation was approved by a vote of 23-16.
The bill would “ban the manufacture, sale, transfer or possession of high-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition and would make federal funds available to buy back any high-capacity magazines already legally owned,” according to the release.
The Keep Americans Safe Act would allow law enforcement to continue using high-capacity magazines as required by their official duties.
DeGette said, “There is no legitimate reason why anyone other than law enforcement needs a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. One of the most important things we can do right now to protect our communities is get these high-capacity magazines off our streets once and for all.”
The ban responds to calls for stronger gun control after recent mass shootings. High-capacity magazines were involved in the shootings in Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy.
Public support for gun control is also increasing across party lines, as reported by The Washington Post. Six in 10 Americans support a nationwide ban like the one introduced by DeGette that bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Research also backs the bill as an effective preventative tool. Research from Boston University indicates that banning large capacity magazines is associated with a 63 percent lower rate of mass shootings. Researcher Michael Siegel said, “Whether a state has a large capacity ammunition magazine ban is the single best predictor of the mass shooting rate in that state.”
There was a similar ban in place from 1994 to 2004, banning high-capacity magazines. Now that it has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee, the bill will now enter the full House for consideration.