Washington, DC —U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 19 additional Democratic colleagues today in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, a bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

In addition to Blumenthal, Murphy and Feinstein, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also co-sponsored the measure.

"Weapons of war have no place in our communities. These killing machines have no purpose for self-defense or hunting and they must remain on the battlefield where they belong—not in our churches, schools and theaters. My heart breaks for the innocent lives lost in Texas, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook and far too many towns across America. We must honor their lives with action,” Blumenthal said.

Military-style assault weapons belong in the military, not in our schools and churches,” said Murphy. “It's not a coincidence that these guns are used in virtually every mass shooting. Copycat killers are watching the lethal efficiency of these killing machines and choosing them to carry out their own mass murder. As a recent Trump nominee to the Department of Defense said, it's 'insane' that civilians are allowed to buy these weapons that were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible. These guns aren't used to hunt. You don't need something like this to protect your home. These are killing machines, used by mass murderers, and they shouldn't be sold to the public.” 

Key provisions

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners can keep existing weapons. 
  • Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable 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 can 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 can keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to bill

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

Other provisions:

  • 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.