A Texas Democrat has introduced a gun-control bill targeted at weapons transfers that she calls the Stop Mass Killings by Violent Terrorists Act.
“Mass shootings have become too common in our country and we owe to the victims of gun violence – from Orlando to Charleston to Aurora to Chattanooga to Fort Hood and more — to keep weapons intended for military use out of the hands of persons who would use them to massacre civilians,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said in introducing the legislation.
The bill would “require a criminal background check to be conducted before a federally licensed firearms importer, manufacturer, or dealer may transfer a large capacity ammunition feeding device to a non-licensee, and to prohibit a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device from being so transferred until the Attorney General has verified that the prospective transferee has truthfully answered questions about whether the prospective transferee has been contacted recently by Federal law enforcement authorities.”
The legislation text adds that “the Attorney General shall ensure that the information required to be provided by a person not licensed under this chapter who is seeking to obtain a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer shall include written responses to such questions as the Attorney General shall develop concerning the existence and nature of any contact the person has had with any Federal law enforcement authority in the prior 24 months.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.).
Jackson Lee said her new bill “complements” the No Fly For Foreign Fighters Act, which requires an independent review of the Terrorist Screening Database maintained by the FBI. That passed the House and is currently sitting in the Senate.
“On average gun violence claims the lives of 90 persons each day. Since 1968, more than a million persons have died at the hand of a gun. The homicide rate in the United States is about 6.9 times higher than the combined rate in 22 other populous highly-developed countries, despite similar non-lethal crime and violence rates,” Jackson Lee said.
“I call upon Speaker Ryan and Senate Republican Leader McConnell to must rise above partisan politics and bring to the floor needed legislation to reduce gun violence and mass shootings in America. The safety of the American people should be paramount, not the interests of the National Rifle Association.”
The congresswoman added “mass shootings like the ones that occurred in San Bernardino, Newtown, and Orlando are made easier to carry out by the prevalence and ease in obtaining automatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.”
“We can make it more difficult for those who would do our people and communities harm by making those weapons more difficult to obtain, or better yet, by banning them altogether,” Jackson Lee added.