September 11, 2019

Cortez Masto Calls on Majority Leader McConnell to Take Action on Ban of High-Capacity Magazines

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and 28 colleagues in calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell to act on their Keep Americans Safe Act, which would prohibit the transfer, importation, or possession of magazines able to hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. Companion legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee today.

“America’s epidemic of mass shootings must be addressed. I’m proud to sponsor legislation with my colleagues that will outlaw high capacity magazines that fire dozens of rounds in a matter of seconds,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “My hometown of Las Vegas was the site of the worst mass shooting in American history, and I will keep fighting for commonsense gun violence prevention legislation that saves lives and keeps our citizens and law enforcement safer.”

“The American people are sick and tired of seeing communities torn apart by avoidable gun violence tragedies. And they’re sick and tired of inaction by Washington politicians who don’t seem to have the guts to stand up to the NRA,” said Sen. Menendez, the bill’s author. “Let’s listen to the American people and show them we can do something. The Senate Majority Leader can and must bring the Keep Americans Safe Act to the floor for a vote next week.”  

“It’s shameful that despite continued calls from the American people for meaningful action to address the scourge of gun violence that is devastating our communities, Leader McConnell and Republicans have chosen to do the gun lobby’s bidding,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “Enough is enough—we must take action on the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would work conjointly with much-needed universal background check legislation to make America safer and more secure. Leader McConnell must answer the calls of the American people and bring this legislation to the floor for a vote.”

In addition to U.S. Senators Cortez Masto, Menendez, and Schumer, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Angus King (I-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) also called on Leader McConnell to act. 


In addition to prohibiting large-capacity ammunition magazines, the Keep Americans Safe bill includes the following provisions:

  • Provides limited exceptions for devices possessed before enactment, for certain current and former law enforcement personnel, for certain Atomic Energy personnel and purpose, for tubular devices that can only accept .22 rimfire ammunition, and for certain authorized testing or experimentation;
  • Modifies the high-capacity definition to prevent coupled or joined magazines;
  • Authorizes a buyback programs for high capacity magazines using Byrne JAG grants;
  • Requires devices manufactured after enactment to have conspicuous serial numbers and date of manufacture to help law enforcement identify restricted magazines;
  • Harmonizes forfeiture provisions for magazines with current law; currently FBI and ATF can seize and destroy certain firearms but not high capacity magazines.

The legislation is supported by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence; March for Our Lives; Team ENOUGH; Change The Ref; Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; Center for American Progress; Violence Policy Center and Everytown.

Full text of the bill can be downloaded here.