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2: BANNING MILITARY-STYLE ASSAULT WEAPONS AND HI CAPACITY MAGAZINES, AND TAKING OTHER COMMON-SENSE STEPS TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE
We need to do more to prevent easy access to instruments of mass violence. We also need to provide law enforcement with additional tools to prevent gun violence, end the freeze on gun violence research, make sure health care providers know they can report credible threats of violence and talk to their patients about gun safety, and promote responsible gun ownership.
GET MILITARY-STYLE ASSAULT WEAPONS AND HI CAPACITY MAGAZINES OFF THE STREETS A 2010 survey by the Police Executive Research Forum found that more than one-third of police departments reported an increase in criminals’ use of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines since the prohibition on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons expired in 2004. To protect law enforcement and enhance public safety, we must redouble our efforts to:
• Reinstate and strengthen the ban on assault weapons: The shooters in Aurora and Newtown used the type of semiautomatic rifles that were the target of the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004. That ban was an important step, but manufacturers were able to circumvent the prohibition with cosmetic modifications to their weapons. Congress must reinstate and strengthen the prohibition on assault weapons.
• Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds: The case for prohibiting high-capacity magazines has been proven over and over; the shooters at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Newtown all used magazines holding more than 10 rounds, which would have been prohibited under the 1994 law. These magazines enable any semiautomatic weapon to be used as an instrument of mass violence, yet they are once again legal and now come standard with many handguns and rifles. Congress needs to reinstate the prohibition on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
• Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets: It is already illegal to manufacture and import armor-piercing ammunition except for military or law enforcement use.