Cicilline leading push to ban assault weapons

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In the wake of the recent wave of terrorist attacks and mass shootings, U.S. Congressman David Cicilline is leading a push to place new restrictions on assault weapons.

On Wednesday, Cicilline introduced the “Assault Weapons of Ban 2015,” which aims to renew a Clinton-era ban that expired more than a decade ago.

The proposal, which is backed by 123 other House Democrats, would prohibit the sale, transfer, production and importation of certain types of military-style semi-automatic rifles and handguns, as well as any ammunition feeding device that holds more than 10 rounds.

The legislation would also close a loophole that allows gun dealers to sell an assault weapon if the FBI does not complete a background check within three days, which is how the gunman in the Charlestown church massacre was able to purchase his weapon.

Cicilline called gun violence an “epidemic” that’s killed 12,000 Americans this year alone.

“We are not powerless in the face of this,” he said. “We have the ability and the responsibility to do all that we can to stop this violence, and the first step we can take to reduce the toll of gun violence is to make it harder for weapons of war to end up in our communities.”

Under the legislation, people who already own assault weapons would be allowed to keep them, but would face new restrictions on transferring ownership.

Despite the support from Democrats, the bill will have a hard time getting through the Republican-controlled Congress.

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