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Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazines
From New York to Arizona, criminals armed with weapons equipped with large-capacity ammunition magazines have gone on numerous shooting sprees causing mass fatalities across the United States. These incidents, and related carnage, have increased significantly since the federal ban on these magazines was lifted in 2004.
When ammunition magazines are available in large sizes—capable of holding as many as 100 rounds of ammunition—the lethality of these attacks is significantly increased. For instance, in the January, 2011 Tucson, AZ shooting, the perpetrator was equipped with a large-capacity ammunition magazine, allowing the gunman to fire off more than 30 bullets in 15 seconds-killing six and wounding 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Similar scenarios played out in the tragic Newtown, CT and Aurora, CO shootings.
These attacks were similar to the December 1993 Long Island Railroad shooting spree. In these incidents, individuals acquired semiautomatic weapons along with large-capacity ammunition magazines. In the aftermath of the LIRR shooting, President Clinton called for tighter gun controls, and in nine months, Congress imposed the ban on large-capacity magazines and assault weapons.
The federal law banning the sale of large-capacity magazines and semiautomatic assault weapons, commonly known as the federal assault weapons ban, was passed as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. President Clinton signed it into law on September 13, 1994. Under this law, ammunition magazines were limited to 10 rounds for civilian ownership.
This ban had a 10-year sunset provision. In September 2004, Congress and President George W. Bush took no action to renew the ban-allowing civilians once again to lawfully purchase these dangerous weapons.
The result has been deadly for Americans. As our research shows, in the decade before the ban, more than twice as many people were killed or injured by shooters using a large-capacity magazine than in the decade during the ban. In the decade since its expiration, casualties have nearly tripled.
Large-capacity magazines carry far more bullets than any civilian could possibly ever use. Restricting an average citizen's ability to load more than 10 bullets is common sense. A ban on large-capacity magazines would not only reduce the capacity, but more importantly reduce the lethality of firearms.
Congress needs to learn the obvious lesson from this horrible tragedy and renew the ban on large-capacity magazines now.
Mayhem Multiplied Reports
Mass shootings have taken place consistently throughout American history, in every region of the country. Over the last 30 years, however, assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines—which hold more than 10 rounds—have proliferated, allowing assailants to become much more destructive.
A new Crime Commission analysis shows, the results have been deadly for Americans. It's time to reinstitute the federal ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.
» read the Mayhem Multiplied: Mass Shooters & Assault Weapons 2016 report
» read the Mayhem Multiplied: Mass Shooters & Large-Capacity Magazines 2014 report
» read the NY Daily News op-ed
» read the Newsday op-ed
» Mass Shooting Incidents in America
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