Democrats in the House of Representatives are taking the lead in the talks on gun laws and have proposed legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Representatives Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York) and Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) introduced their proposal on Thursday, citing the use of such high-capacity clips in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 26 people.
McCarthy’s vested interest in the cause comes from her own personal life, as her husband was killed in a shooting on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train in 1993. Her son was also seriously injured in the attack.
“These assault magazines help put the ‘mass’ in ‘mass shooting’ and anything we can do to stop their proliferation will save lives in America,” said McCarthy in a statement. “These devices are used to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible, and we owe it to innocent Americans everywhere to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people."
Both congresswomen admit that guns can still fall into the hands of deranged people, but they hope to limit their ability to use high-capacity clips that hold dozens of bullets and are not even deemed legal for hunting purposes in most states.
“I have family members who hunt and shoot but the only purpose of these high-capacity ammunition magazines is to either shoot targets or to shoot people,” said DeGette to the House. “I think any small inconvenience to a hobbyist by having to reload these clips… it’s minor compared to the devastation that can be done.”
Though the legislation was proposed on the first day of the new Congress, it is considered unlikely to pass in the House with the current Republican majority.