By Teresa Welsh |
Democratic Reps. Carolyn McCarthy of New York and Diana DeGette of Colorado have reintroduced legislation to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines in the United States. The bill, originally introduced after the Colorado movie theatre shooting in July, 2012 would ban the sale or transfer of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
Magazines are currently available with capacities of 100 and more, and high-capacity magazines have been used in every mass shooting in recent history, including the Colorado shooting and the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Proponents of the ban say high-capacity magazines play a prominent role in mass shootings, and restricting access to them will eliminate the power of killers to open fire in such a manner. They say mass shooters usually acquire their weapons legally, so limiting access to such magazines would prevent such tragedies in the future.
Opponents of the ban say it infringes upon the constitutional right to bear arms, and the magazine limit of 10 is too low. They say some of the most popular weapons in the United States, like the AR-15 rifle and the Glock-17 handgun, would be affected by the restrictions. Gun rights activists also argue that citizens using guns for self-defense don't always have the marksmanship to hit an attacker on the first try, and they need weapons with enough sufficient ammunition so they aren't required to stop and reload, especially if they are trying to fend off multiple assailants.
Should high-capacity ammunition magazines be banned? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Gene Hoffman Chairman of the Calguns Foundation
Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America
Carolyn McCarthy Democratic Representative from New York
Josh Sugarmann Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center
Joshua Horwitz Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence