March 12, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Join Colleagues to Introduce Assault Weapons Ban


[WASHINGTON D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.) and a group of Senate colleagues to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021.  This bill would ban the further sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines for civilian use.

“We cannot continue to stand by while our siblings, parents and children get mowed down in their churches, at their schools and when they are just going about their daily lives,” Duckworth said.  “I don’t want my daughters to have to grow up in a country that won’t protect them from firearm violence – and I refuse to accept that there’s nothing we can do, especially at a time when we know that domestic terrorism is on the rise. People are dying and Congress has not only the power, but also the duty to act by passing common-sense solutions like this one. We owe it to the countless and growing number of firearm violence victims to take action, not just deliver thoughts and prayers.”

“Military-style assault weapons are designed for one thing: firing a large number of bullets in a short amount of time.  They have been used repeatedly in acts of mass violence in American schools, theaters, concerts, and neighborhoods.  Civilians do not need a military-style assault weapon to engage in hunting, sport shooting, or self-defense activities, and the risk of mass violence from these weapons is too great,” Durbin said. “We must put our communities’ safety above the gun lobby’s agenda and limit the further civilian sale of military-style assault weapons.”

Key provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans any assault weapon with the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Exemptions to bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

In addition to Duckworth, Durbin, and Feinstein, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tina Smith (D-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).