Newly-formed Gun Violence Prevention Caucus reintroduces legislation targeting high-capacity gun magazines

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey reintroduced the Keep Americans Safe Act, a bill that would largely ban high-capacity gun magazines.

Sen. Menendez speaks at a podium.

File photo: Sen. Bob Menendez. Sen. Menendez reintroduced legislation banning high-capacity gun magazines on Feb. 7, 2023. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

Working on a solution to gun violence and want to share it? Get in touch with gun violence prevention reporters Sammy Caiola and Sam Searles.

The U.S. Senate’s Gun Violence Prevention Caucus has reintroduced legislation that would limit the sale of high-capacity magazines, less than a week since the caucus’s founding.

The Keeping America Safe Act was initially drafted by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. The Democrat wrote the legislation following the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert that killed roughly 60 people and hurt hundreds more.

If passed, the bill would ban the possession, transfer, and sales of any gun magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. Possession of high-capacity weapons acquired before the bill becomes law would be limited to “certain current and former law enforcement personnel,” among others with specific credentials.

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The bill would also change the definition of “high-capacity” to prevent coupled or joined magazines, and authorize a buyback program for high-capacity magazines. Future weapons would require manufacturers to use distinctive serial numbers and list the date of manufacture.

The Keeping America Safe Act was reintroduced on Feb. 7 to commemorate the last day of Gun Violence Survivors Week. Among the co-sponsors are U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

59% of mass shootings between 2009 to 2018 involved high-capacity magazines with the ability to hold at least 10 rounds of ammunition.

Recent mass shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Monterey Park, California were both perpetrated using high-capacity firearms.

If you or someone you know has been affected by gun violence in Philadelphia, you can find grief support and resources online.

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Sam Searles is a Report for America corps member covering gun violence and prevention for WHYY News.

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