August 01, 2022

Rep. Casten Votes to Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban to Prevent Gun Violence for Safer Communities 



Rep. Casten Votes to Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban to Prevent Gun Violence for Safer Communities 


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) voted for historic legislation that will reinstate the assault weapons ban, a key action to ensure safer communities for Illinoisans by preventing gun violence and keeping weapons of war off our streets.


“We cannot accept that gun violence is just a facet of everyday life,” said Rep. Casten. “In the United States, no child should be afraid to go to school or walk around their neighborhood. No spouse should be afraid to come home at night. No American should be afraid to go to work or their place of worship. And no human being should be afraid to go to a shopping mall or baseball field, nightclub or movie theater, concert, or college campus. That starts with banning assault weapons.”


From 1994 to 2004, while American families were protected by the assault weapons ban, there were 40 percent fewer gun crimes involving assault weapons.  But since the expiration of the ban in 2004, gun violence has been steadily on the rise.  In 2019 alone, nearly 14,000 United Americans were killed with a firearm, with nearly 300 mass shootings taking place over the last decade.  Taking action to reduce these numbers will not only protect our communities but support our law enforcement, who have been overwhelmed by the pervasiveness of gun crime and must face weapons designed for warfare while serving in our communities.


Similar to the 1994 ban, this legislation will prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of semiautomatic assaultweapons and high capacity magazines.  Additionally, it will require that semiautomatic assault weapons be stored securely and properly, a measure that will help keep the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of those not equipped to handle weapons.


This bill is only one example of House Democrats’ ongoing efforts to increase public safety.  Earlier this year, the Congress was able to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the country’s first piece of major gun violence prevention legislation in nearly three decades.  Additionally, the House passed the Active Shooter Alert Act, legislation that establishes a program similar to the AMBER Alert system, allowing law enforcement to effectively and efficiently alert the public during a shooting.  Similarly, the Protecting Our Kids Act, legislation that would keep weapons of war out of the hands of teenagers and crack down on ghost guns, passed the House with overwhelming Democratic support earlier this year.  Gun safety and community security remain top priorities of the Democratic Party and House Democrats will continue to fight for these life-saving measures.   

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