WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) joined U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to act on their Keep Americans Safe Act (S.447), which would prohibit high-capacity magazines. Companion legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee last night.
“The Keep Americans Safe Act is a common sense gun safety measure that we should consider right now to protect our communities,” said Sen. Carper. “The overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners, want us to use common sense and pass gun safety measures like this one. Leader McConnell and Republicans should listen."
“The American people want Congress and the Administration to take action to address gun violence, and so do the majority of gun owners,” said Sen. Coons. “The Keep Americans Safe Act is commonsense legislation that I’m proud to support, and I strongly urge Majority Leader McConnell to bring this legislation to the Senate floor for a vote. The time is now to take action that will help save lives.”
There have been 289 mass shootings so far this year according to the Gun Violence Archive, not counting the thousands of other acts of gun violence that have devastated communities across the country. A common thread found in many of the nation’s most high-profile mass shootings in recent years has been the use of high-capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds and enable a shooter to fire dozens of rounds without having to stop and reload.
In Dayton, Ohio, the mass shooter used a high-capacity rifle equipped with a 100-round drum magazine, which enabled him to fire 41 rounds in 32 seconds. In El Paso, Texas, and Gilroy, California, both shooters are believed to have used an AK-47 style assault rifle, another high-capacity rifle, which generally holds at least 30 rounds.
Experts have recently expressed restrictions on the capacity of bullet magazines could make the attacks less deadly, giving potential targets precious seconds to escape while the shooter reloads a gun.
Joining Sens. Carper, Coons, Menendez, and Schumer in cosponsoring the Keep Americans Safe Act are Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Angus King (I-Maine), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).