The gun control package proposed by House Democrats identifies “high-capacity” magazines as holding 10 rounds or more.
The proposed new limit on ammunition clips is part of the six-piece gun-control package that the House Judiciary Committee is marking up Thursday during an emergency meeting.
Democrats, who convened the Judiciary Committee while the rest of Congress takes the week off, pushed forward the legislation after 19 children and 2 adults were killed last week by an 18-year-old gunman at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The original version of the limit on high-capacity magazines did not outlaw existing magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, giving them “grandfather” status.
Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican and co-chair of the Second Amendment Caucus, confirmed the limit would be set for both semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles.
“That’s not even a high-capacity magazine. That’s like an average capacity magazine,” said Mr. Massie, a member of the Judiciary Committee. He said the magazine capacity limit proposed by his Democratic colleagues would essentially ban some of the most common handguns in circulation today
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According to the libertarian CATO Institute, most handguns sold in the U.S. come with magazines that hold between 10 to 17 rounds. Pistols that hold 10 rounds are usually compact or subcompact models. Full-size pistols that are commonly used by law enforcement officers have 12- to 20‐round magazines as standard capacity.
By the end of 2017, eight states and the District of Columbia had a regulation that restricted magazine capacity, and several set the limit at 10 rounds.
Gun Owners of America said the “limit endangers the lives of good people. There are countless examples where law-abiding gun owners needed more ammo than 10 rounds to shoot back against multiple home invaders. Not to mention the fact that it would be an unconstitutional infringement.”
The limit on magazine capacity is part of a package of new gun laws that House Democrats named the “Protecting Our Kids” bill. It also includes bills that raise the federal age of purchasing a rifle from 18 to 21; require existing bump stocks to be registered and ban new bump stocks for civilian use.
Another measure in the catch-all legislation would amend the definition of “ghost guns” to mandate background checks on all sales and create new requirements for firearm storage at home – specifically when minors are present.
The package is expected to pass the Democrat-run House but die in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. House Democrats also say their bill will up the pressure on GOP senators to back some type of new gun laws.
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