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Beyer Statement On House Passage Of Assault Weapons Ban

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), author of the Assault Weapons Excise Act and cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, today issued the following statement after the House passed the Assault Weapons Ban:

“For years the American people have watched in horror as mass shootings claim more and more innocent lives in schools, grocery stores, hospitals, churches, synagogues, malls, bars, and workplaces, without any response from policymakers. Today, after two decades without the ban in place, the House is taking strong action to do something about it by reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban,” said Rep. Beyer. “It is too late to stop the mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Parkland, Las Vegas, Parkland, Orlando, and so many others, but today the House is working to prevent future massacres. The unfortunate but realistic outlook is that we expect Mitch McConnell to block this bill in the Senate with a filibuster; when he does that I have offered a ready alternative in the Assault Weapons Excise Act, which I urge my colleagues to consider.”

The Assault Weapons Ban, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), would reinstate the ban on military-style rifles, high capacity magazines, and other assault weapons modeled on firearms designed for use on the battlefield. These weapons of war are used in a high percentage of the deadliest mass shootings in America. The Assault Weapons Ban was last passed by the House and signed by President Clinton in 1994; during the ten years that followed before it expired mass shootings declined in number.

Beyer’s Assault Weapon Excise Act would impose a 1,000 percent excise tax on firearms and other weapons defined along lines very similar to those of the Assault Weapons Ban. As a revenue measure, Senate procedural experts believe it could be passed through the Senate budget reconciliation process, allowing enactment with a simple 50-vote majority.