Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) was joined today by gun violence survivors and 199 Members of Congress in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban Act. Passed in the 117th Congress by a bipartisan vote of 217-213 in the House of Representatives, the legislation would ban the sale, import, manufacture or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons.
Today marks the start of Gun Violence Survivors Week.
“These weapons of war have no place in our communities. They turn our streets, schools, grocery stores, movie theaters, hospitals, night clubs, festivals, and dance halls into bloody killing fields, and they are used to murder our children, friends, and neighbors – and the police officers trying to protect them,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Gun violence is not an incurable disease or natural disaster – it is preventable and a ban on assault weapons can and does save lives. There is no good reason why we have not reinstated this policy that will reduce the gun massacres being committed in our communities.”
“We were tragically reminded just last week of the deadly nature of assault weapons when a shooter used one to kill 11 people and injure 9 more at a Lunar New Year celebration in California,” said Senator Feinstein, sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban in the Senate. “The constant stream of mass shootings have one common thread: they almost all involve assault weapons. It’s because these weapons were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible. They have no business in our communities or schools. It’s time we stand up to the gun lobby and remove these weapons of war from our streets.”
“Assault weapons have no place in our communities. These weapons of war are designed for one purpose – to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. We have seen the devastating effects of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in mass shootings time and time again. The American people deserve to know if their elected officials are willing to take action to address this public health crisis and protect their communities from the threat of mass shootings. It’s past time for Congress to take action and pass this life-saving legislation,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady.
“Assault weapons have been used to cause unspeakable harm in matters of seconds making them the weapon of choice for mass shooters,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “These weapons of war have no place in our communities and our grassroots gun violence prevention movement is grateful to Representative Cicilline for his steadfast leadership in putting our safety ahead of profits for the gun industry.”
“Assault weapons have been the weapons of choice for mass shooters since my neighbor used an AR-15 and high-capacity magazines to murder 20 children and six educators in Sandy Hook Elementary School over 10 years ago. More and more families and communities in every corner of America will be impacted by mass shootings and school shootings until Congress passes Representative Cicilline’s bill to stop arming mass shooters with weapons of war. President Biden has repeatedly signaled that he is ready to sign the bill into law,” said Po Murray, Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance.
“The Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 aligns with the MCCA’s 2018 Firearms Violence Policy, which calls for banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, among other common-sense reforms. Far too many communities have seen firsthand the violence a perpetrator equipped with one of these weapons can inflict. Congress must act expeditiously to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The MCCA thanks Rep. Cicilline for his continued leadership on this critical issue,” said Eddie Garcia, Chief, Dallas, Police Department, and President, Major Cities Chiefs Association.
“Sandy Hook, Parkland, Pulse, Las Vegas, Highland Park, Buffalo, Uvalde, and Monterey Park are just a few of the communities devastated by tragedies perpetrated with assault weapons, the sale of which generates staggering profits for executives while undermining public safety. When equipped with large capacity magazines, assault weapons pose an even greater danger to the public. It’s long past time that Congress addressed the easy availability of these weapons, and we applaud Congressman David Cicilline for his leadership on this issue,” said Adzi Vokhiwa, Giffords Federal Affairs Director.
“We’re in a state of crisis in America because of the reckless spread of weapons of war,” said Elena Perez, Policy Associate at March For Our Lives. “It is not normal for young people to live in fear of the next mass shooting. It is not normal for someone to be able to walk into a church, a school, a theater, a mall, anywhere life happens in this country and be able to kill and maim dozens within minutes. It’s time to once again pass an assault weapons ban. These regulations have passed constitutional muster before, and they’ve saved lives before. It’s time we be bold and do it once again.”
“We thank Rep. Cicilline for his unwavering support for the federal assault weapons ban. The House passed this legislation last year, and we’re confident they can do it again,” said Kitty Brandtner, gun violence prevention advocate and founder of March Fourth. “The United States is the only country in the world with a mass shooting epidemic. Two months into 2023 with a growing number of mass shootings, we are begging our legislators to do the bare minimum and pass the ban. American survival against the gun violence health crisis depends on it.”
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