Democrats Introducing Legislation to Ban High-Capacity Clips

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 10 2011 2:52 PM

Democrats Introducing Legislation to Ban High-Capacity Clips

Over the weekend, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) announced that she'd introduce a bill banning the sale or manufacture of high-capacity ammo clips, like the 33-round clips allegedly used by Jared Lee Loughner. McCarthy, you'll remember, was elected in 1996 on a gun control platform. Her husband was murdered by Colin Ferguson on the Long Island Rail Road; her Republican congressman had voted against the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. But when the ban on on high-capacity clips expired in 2004, McCarthy and the Democratic minority couldn't save it.

Today, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced companion legislation in the Senate:

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The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly.  These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market. Before 2004, these ammunition clips were banned, and they must be banned again.  When the Senate returns to Washington, I will introduce legislation to prohibit this type of high-capacity clip.

The math doesn't look good for any legislation like this; a healthy majority of Republicans and Democrats in the House have previously promised not to reinstate any provisions of the assault weapon bans.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.