Senate Democrats are moving to ban assault weapons and a device that allows semi-automatic weapons to simulate automatic fire in the wake of mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas.
Roughly two dozen Democrats, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), introduced legislation on Wednesday that would ban assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and bump stocks, devices that can be used to make semi-automatic rifles fire faster.
“We’re introducing an updated Assault Weapons Ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote,” Feinstein said in a statement.
Congress previously enacted an assault weapons ban in 1994, but that legislation expired in 2004.
The Democratic legislation would ban the sale, production and transfer of military-style assault weapons, with some exceptions, though owners would be able to keep existing weapons. It would also ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The bill would require a background check on any future trade or sale of an assault weapon covered by the legislation, require any guns grandfathered under the bill to be securely stored and prohibit transferring high-capacity magazines.
Lawmakers have homed in on bump stocks after a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas last month, where nearly 60 people were killed and more than 500 others were injured.
Authorities have said a dozen of the rifles used by the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, had been modified with bump stocks.