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Press Release of Senator Lautenberg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a package of three common-sense gun safety bills that would ban high-capacity gun magazines and keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals and terrorists. As one of Congress’ leading voices for gun safety, Senator Lautenberg has worked throughout his career to draft legislation that prevents criminals and terrorists from obtaining guns and assault weapons.

“This package of common-sense gun safety bills would sail through Congress if it wasn’t for the special interest gun lobby. It’s time to put aside business as usual in Washington, and start considering the safety of our families over special interests,” Lautenberg said. “In our country, terrorists can buy weapons at gun stores, convicted felons can buy Glocks at gun shows, and just about anyone can get their hands on a 30-round magazine designed to shoot and kill quickly. Congress has a responsibility to enact common-sense reforms that will keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and terrorists, and prevent another massacre like the one we saw in Tucson.”

“Just like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the 1,200-plus members of the US Conference of Mayors in their announcements yesterday, Senator Lautenberg understands that we need a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence in America,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), who introduced the high-capacity magazine ban in the U.S. House. “Having written the law authorizing more spending for our national background check system, working to close the gun show loophole and introducing the bill to ban high-capacity magazines, I’m proud to stand with Senator Lautenberg and these leaders in our efforts to make this country safer.”

A January 2011 national survey conducted by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that an overwhelming majority of Americans support Senator Lautenberg’s gun safety proposals. The bipartisan study revealed that 88 percent of Americans favor prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns, 89 percent favor eliminating the gun show loophole, and 58 percent support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The following bills were introduced today by Senator Lautenberg to address the gaping holes in U.S. gun safety laws.

Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

The legislation would prohibit the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that have a capacity of, or could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. From 1994 – 2004, high capacity ammunition magazines were illegal as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. When the ban expired in 2004, Republican leaders in Congress pledged to not resurrect it. Since that time, high capacity clips (more than 10 rounds at a time) have been legal to manufacture and sell. A high-capacity ammunition magazine was used to carry out the recent shooting spree in Tucson, allowing the suspect to fire off 31 bullets in just 15 seconds.

The “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act” is co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), John Kerry (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Criminals Act

The legislation would close a dangerous loophole known as the “Terror Gap” that prevents law enforcement from stopping a person on the terrorist watch list from obtaining firearms or explosives. It would provide the Attorney General with authority to deny the transfer of a firearm or issuance of a firearm or explosives license when a background check reveals that the purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General reasonably believes that the person may use a firearm or explosives in connection with terrorism. An investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that between February 2004 and February 2010, there were 1,119 cases in which individuals on the Terror Watch List were cleared to purchase a gun or explosive.

The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Criminals Act” is co-sponsored by Senators Durbin, Feinstein, Levin, Menendez, Reed, Schumer and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Gun Show Background Check Act

The legislation would close the gun show loophole that allows guns to be sold, even to criminals and terrorists, without background checks at gun shows. It would require that sellers at gun shows perform the same background checks that licensed gun dealers are required to perform under the Brady Law. The Gun Show Background Check Act of 2011 is virtually identical to the Lautenberg amendment passed by the Senate in the 106th Congress as part of the Juvenile Justice bill.

The “Gun Show Background Check Act” is co-sponsored by Senators Durbin, Feinstein, Kerry, Levin, Menendez, Reed, Schumer and Whitehouse.


Contact: Lautenberg Press Office, 202-224-3224

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  1. Wow look at all those bandwagon jumpers supporting his “common sense” bill. I didn’t know that 58% could be interpreted as an overwhelming majority. Guess I need to head back to statistics class.

  2. They named these bills wrong. Consolidate all three and name them “The Maude Flanders Memorial ‘Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children!’ gun safety bill for God, Apple Pie and America.” That way when the eeevil, EEEVIL Republicans vote against it, Democrats can say (again) that Republicans hate children, and they can add God, Apple Pie and America too.

  3. BTW, from a political standpoint, there’s nothing better than introducing a bill you know doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever becoming law (see also: Republican’s house health care bill repeal bill.) It’s great because you get mad props from your supporters for introducing the bill, but you don’t have to face the consequences of what happens when an ill-advised bill actually becomes law.

    It’s pretty much win-win.

  4. Three problems:
    1. When someone gets shot with a 10 rd mag it will become 5. When someone gets shot with a 5 round mag, it will become 1, then zero. You can’t control crime by limiting magazine capacity any more than you could control drunk driving by limiting the size of a cars gas tank.

    2. What’s the criteria for adding someone to the terror watch list? Janet Napolitano thinks that anyone who is former military is a potential terrorist threat. If the people on the terror watch list are criminals, then arrest them and charge them with the crime(s) they have committed. Once convicted, they are inelligible. That’s how it works. Missing a little due process here I think.

    3. Gun Show Loophole. It is true that any person to person firearms sale does not require a background check. However, this act does a lot more than mandate background checks. It increases costs, mandates that sales go through an FFL, calls for more ATF agents, permits warrentless searches of those that participate in gun shows, makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens who make honest mistakes. Just provide the public with the abiltiy to do a NICS check when selling a firearm. What’s all the other stuff for? It’s anything but common sence, unless your objective is to put gun shows out of business, then it makes perfect sense.

    Lastly, why no links to the language of each bill? Because Lautenberg doesn’t want you to know what is actually in them. It’s far more than reported in this press release. If you think these bills are common sense, find them and read them, then make your decision. This press release falls far short of telling the whole story. We’re all growing very tired of politicians that intentionally mislead the public. That’s why we are voting them out of office at unprecidented rates, but some just never learn.

  5. Here in N.J. it’s up to us to vote out Menendez and Lautenberg!!!! Those two voted against the national recriprocity act last year……(only lost by two votes!)

  6. Curent laws already prohibit firearms to be sold to caonvicted criminals. Yet we read about how previously convicted criminals out on parol are found having guns in their posession. Common sense does not apply to polotician they dont get that the laws they make only affect We who abide by them, NOT THE CRIMINALS !!!!!!!! In a perfect world we wouldn’t need poloticians, cops, lawyers, prisons, or wars. The world and its inhabitants aren’t perfect. Humans being human. (not humane)

  7. Whenever the words”common-sense” appear when describing anything proposed by a liberal, you can be sure there will be none therin.

  8. this paul z person with kelly obrien and sen mccarthy in arizona today spreading rumors about handguns as is usual for you and your organizaton
    who died and gave you the right to play god.
    youre no better than anyone else here in america
    me and my daughter handguns (that i bought her after her ice agent x boyfriend held her hostage and raped her for three days and ice wont do anything about ) come from the factory with a 17 round magazine. this is how its received by purchasers
    i dont care anything about having an extended capacity magazine. they are not that big a deal
    any legislation will have to make provision for how the firearm is furnished from the factory in regards to your so called experts idea that 10 rounds is enough.
    who sez that none of you even shoot a gun im almost 100 percent sure of that . you go around telling your sad stories to people who know nothing about guns which to me is borderline lying
    im empathetic to your storied but any firearms legislation would have to provide a “grandfather clause:
    the way companies beat the last ban is to operate 24/7 till the ban went into effect which pretty much supplied them with enough pre ban mags to sell
    when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns
    a criminal wont give a darn about your laws.
    all obama has done is made gun shops and ammo dealers rich with his threats of gun control
    recently an elderly nun was stabbed in an intitation of a 13 year old boy into a gang here in a town of 8000 people. she was lucky to have survived as the mission was to kill her.a 7th grader trying to kill to get into a gang is just insane
    thats why i need a gun is to take with me when i walk so in case i meet up with a bunch of this crazy people i can depend myself.
    i successufully warded off an attempted home invasion by 3 people 30 years ago because i did have gun and wasnt afraid to use it
    the gun jammed so i beat the intruder with it. that stopped them for sure.
    i lived alone at the time and do today. with 7 different medical conditions and at 57 years old
    im not in any condition to go fighting an intruder
    anyway my plan is to call the police and sit and wait with my gun till the police get here
    there pretty bad sometimes due to shortage of man power so a person has to be able to defend themselves
    any legislation should read “as supplied to the consumer from the dealer at time of purchase” in terms of magazine capacity
    i dont know who got this 10 round limit in there head im sure it wasnt the tearuful woman who lost her fiancee speaking today in tucson. she was reading a script that had probably been written byu a speech writer of one the senators or you
    your ban didnt work last time it wont this time
    the brady bill didnt work and never will
    a bill dealing with magazine capacity will have to allow the capacaity of magazine the gun is sold with not some 10 round magazine which probably isnt even available (its not for my or my daughters gun

  9. This make about as much cents as a screen door in submersible, your goning to try to tell me by outlawing gun clips that hold more than 10 bullets it would of saved lives in AZ shooting…. Bull Shit !

    What would of saved lives in AZ shooting if the people that where in contacted with sicko would of done there dam job and contacted the police department and had him
    sent to the nut house.

    Now your going to try to take away my 2nd Amendment rights because of this think again Jack A$$ Party !

  10. Brady Bill is in my cross hairs – did you all see there latest post on u-tube trying to make it look like all gun owner are baby killer ….

    We it is time all us law abiding gun owners get out and kick some legislative a$$
    get out and vote , call your congress person , go on the Brady bill web site
    and tell them how you feel being called a baby killer .

    Lets raise some hell people ……


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