U.S. Congress Finally Plans to Consider Law Restricting High-Capacity Gun Magazines

A mass shooting last month in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and injured 27 others in only 30 seconds. In 2011 in Carson City, Nevada, after only 85 seconds a gunman had emptied several 30-round high-capacity gun magazines at an IHOP, killing four people and injuring 14.

That is just the beginning of the list of mass shootings in the U.S. in the last two decades.

Finally, lawmakers around the U.S. are pushing harder to ban high-capacity magazines that recent mass murderers have used to kill dozens of people in a matter of minutes – or even less. The advocacy group Everytown For Gun Safety’s study of mass shootings between 2009 and 2017 found that 58 percent involved firearms with high-capacity magazines.

Nine states have passed laws restricting magazine capacity to 10 to 15 bullets, and the Democratic-led U.S. House plans to consider a similar ban at the federal level in the coming weeks, according to the Associated Press.

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Another mass shooting happened just this past weekend in Odessa, Texas, where a gunman  opened fire on police and bystanders with an AR-style weapon, though it’s not yet known what other accessories were attached to the gun.

There has been littler movement until now on the gun control front. After the Las Vegas massacre, in which a gunman had a dozen 100-round magazines that helped him squeeze off 10 rounds per second onto a crowd from his hotel room, killing 58 people, the Trump administration banned bump stocks. Bump stocks attach to a gun that make it fire bullets faster.

But the high-capacity magazines that quickly and easily fed hundreds of bullets into the Las Vegas killer’s rifles are still available and have been used in recent massacres.

The Keep Americans Safe Act, supported by several Democrats from states that have had one or more massacres, will soon be debated in the House Judiciary Committee. The act, if passed, would prohibit the transfer, importation or possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

While the Democrat-majority Congress might pass gun reform, the Republican-dominated Senate will likely present a formidable opponent to change.