June 3, 2022 Media

CBS4: Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s Legislation To Ban High-Capacity Gun Magazines Moves Forward

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette helped introduce legislation to ban the sale, manufacturing, transfer or possession of high-capacity gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. That legislation was part of a package of eight gun safety bills that will head to the full U.S. House for a vote that could come as early as next week.

“There’s no reason why any civilian in this country needs a gun magazine that holds more than 10 rounds,” DeGette said in a statement. “Experts agree that banning the sale of these high-capacity magazines is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our communities. We also need to strengthen our system of background checks and get these assault weapons off our streets immediately.”

DeGette and Ted Deutch of Florida, originally introduced the legislation, known as the Keep Americans Safe Act (H.R. 2510), in April 2021, just weeks after a gunman, armed with an AR-style assault weapon and high-capacity magazine, opened fire in the King Soopers store on Table Mesa in Boulder, killing 10 people.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the package before it went to the full House. Colorado Congressmen Joe Neguse and Ken Buck serve on that committee, which was divided mostly among party lines.

“We have a serious problem involving families, involving drugs, involving mental health, in this country. We have gone in the wrong direction in the last 40-50 years. We have become a less safe society. Blaming the gun for what’s happening in America is small-minded,” said Buck.

“The high schoolers who experienced Columbine are now grown up, and yet 23 years later our kids continue to face gunfire in the places where they are supposed to be safe,” said Neguse.

According to DeGette’s office, the use of high-capacity magazines capable of holding 30, 60 or even 100 rounds have become a staple of some of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings.

In 1994, the federal government took steps to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds; that ban expired in 2004.

If approved, DeGette and Deutch’s legislation would:

Reinstate a nationwide ban on the sale, transfer or possession of high-capacity gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Authorize high-capacity magazine buyback programs using Byrne JAG grant funds;
Give law enforcement agencies, including FBI and ATF, the authority to seize and destroy high-capacity magazines possessed illegally; and

The bill would not apply to high-capacity magazines legally owned before the legislation takes effect, meaning those currently in possession of such magazines can keep them – but they would not be able to sell or transfer them to anyone else.

The legislation also does not apply to qualified law enforcement, and would require any high-capacity magazines manufactured after the bill is enacted to have a serial number and date of manufacturing clearly printed on it so that it can be easily identified by law enforcement. Possession of a newly manufactured high-capacity magazine by anyone other than law enforcement would be prohibited.

The legislation is expected to pass the House along party lines but is unlikely to pass the Senate. A bipartisan group of Senators said it is making progress to address Red Flag laws, school safety and mental health.