Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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DeGette, Deutch file bill to ban high-capacity gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds

Feb 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just days before the one-year anniversary of the tragic mass-shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a group of federal lawmakers is introducing legislation aimed at preventing another similar attack from occurring elsewhere in the U.S.


U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), whose Congressional district includes Columbine High School, and Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, introduced legislation today that would ban the sale or transfer of any high-capacity magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.


“It’s past time for Congress to act on commonsense gun safety measures,” DeGette said Tuesday in introducing the bill, “and one of the most commonsense things we can do, right now, is ban these high-capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds. There is no legitimate reason for anyone, other than law enforcement, to need a semi-automatic assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine.”


One common thread found to unite some of the nation’s most high-profile mass shootings in recent years has been the use of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and enable a shooter to fire dozens of rounds without having to stop and reload.


Six-and-a-half years ago, for example, at a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman carrying a semi-automatic assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine that held 100 rounds, opened fire and killed one dozen people, and injured dozens more.


The shooter responsible for killing 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and the man who killed 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando both, similarly, used assault rifles with high-capacity magazines that held 30 rounds of ammunition each.


In 1994, the federal government acted to ban the sale or possession of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” that held more than 10 rounds. That ban, however, expired in 2004 and Congress has not yet passed legislation to reinstate it.


The legislation DeGette and Deutch filed today – known as the “Keep Americans Safe Act” – would reinstate the nation’s ban on the sale, transfer or possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The legislation, however, would not apply to high-capacity magazines already legally owned before the bill is enacted. It also would not apply to any military or law enforcement officers who use high-capacity magazines in their official capacity.