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Faiths United endorses assault weapons ban

During a press conference on Jan. 24, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduces legislation to ban assault weapons.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, United Methodist Women and the General Board of Church & Society are among a diverse group of organizations that has come together to support the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” (S. 150), introduced by Sen.Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Jan. 24.

Mass shootings … have demonstrated all too clearly the need to regulate military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“Mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have demonstrated all too clearly the need to regulate military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines,” the bill emphasizes. “These weapons allow a gunman to fire a large number of rounds quickly and without having to reload.”

The legislation, which has 20 other senators as cosponsors, bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of semiautomatic rifles and pistols that have at least one military feature, such as accepting high-capacity magazines. It specifically names 157 firearms.

The legislation excludes weapons that are lawfully possessed at the bill’s enactment, or are manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever or slide action. Assault weapons used by military, law enforcement and retired law enforcement are also excluded.

The legislation specifically excludes 2,258 legitimate hunting and sporting firearms by name and model.

The legislation strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that has lapsed by moving from a two-characteristic military test to one. It also eliminates the 10-year sunset that allowed the original federal ban to expire.

“The wide range of groups and individuals standing behind the Assault Weapons Banspeaks to the commonsense nature of this bill,” Feinstein said. “The American public is behind this bill, doctors are behind it, teachers, law enforcement, religious leaders, mayors — it’s time for Washington to follow suit.”

Supporters range from the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police and the American Medical Assn. to the National Education Assn. and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Former Republican governors Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania) and George Deukmejian (California) also support the bill.

For more information on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, click here.

The full list of groups and individuals supporting the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 is available at List.

Editor's note: Learn more about Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence.

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