WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined a group of Democratic Senators in introducing bills to fix our nation’s gun laws. The Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, introduced yesterday, would ban certain devices used to convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons. The Las Vegas shooter reportedly used several such devices to modify his semi-automatic rifles.
The Background Check Completion Act would close a loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun. This loophole has allowed thousands of gun sales to prohibited purchasers, including the sale of the firearm used by Dylann Roof in his deadly attack on Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last year.
“Another horrific mass shooting has left dozens of families shattered by the loss of a loved one, while hundreds more face a long and painful road to recovery. As the people’s elected representatives we have a moral obligation to put in place policies to prevent massacres like this one in the future,” said Menendez. “It’s time to close background check loopholes, and ban devices like bump stocks that allow someone to mow down hundreds of people within the span of a minutes. The time for action is now.”
“Fully automatic firearms have no place in our society. We must ban devices that can convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic weapons,” Booker said. “Another common sense step is to make sure that people who would fail a background check aren’t able to exploit a loophole to get a gun.”
Sen. Menendez yesterday also introduced the Keep Americans Safe Act, common sense public safety legislation cosponsored by Sen. Booker and 17 others that bans the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition and are designed for shooting en masse.
Background on the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act:
Bump stocks, slide fire devices, and other similar accessories are able to be attached to semi-automatic weapons, allowing them to reach fully-automatic rates of fire.
Semi-automatic rifles typically have a rate of fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute. A bump stock, or other similar device increases the semi-automatic rifles rate of fire between 400 and 800 rounds per minute.
The Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act would ban the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and similar accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire.
The bill also makes clear that its intent is to target only those accessories that increase a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire. Legitimate accessories used by hunters would be exempt. The bill also contains exceptions for lawful possession of these devices by law enforcement and the government.
Additional cosponsors of the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act are: Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
About the Background Check Completion Act:
When a criminal background check indicates that a firearm purchaser may have a criminal record, the ATF tries to determine whether the purchaser can legally buy a gun. If this process takes longer than 72 hours, gun dealers can complete the sale even though there is a heightened risk that the purchaser is legally disqualified from purchasing a gun.
The Background Check Completion Act would require a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer.
Additional cosponsors of the Background Check Completion Act are: U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Patty Murray (D-WA).
October 16, 2020