So it begins. House Democrats introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 on Monday. Put forward by Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ted Deutch (D-FL), and signed by more than 150 other Democrats, the legislation would make it “unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.”
The authors specifically name at least 205 guns that fit the description, including the AK-47 and the AR-15, the latter of which was used by Nikolas Cruz when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month and killed 17 people.
With the bill, Deutch is making good on a promise he made at last week’s gun control town hall on CNN.
Today I joined @RepCicilline and 150+ of my colleagues to introduce the assault weapons ban. It’s time for Congress to listen to the will of a majority of Americans and pass sensible legislation to get these weapons of war off our streets. #NeverAgain #MSDStrong
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) February 26, 2018
“Assault weapons were made for one purpose,” Cicilline said in a statement. “They are designed to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time. They do not belong in our communities.”
Florida Republican Brian Mast would agree with Cicilline and Deutch in terms of the AR-15. In a New York Times op-ed, the Army veteran explained why the firearm does not belong in civilians’ hands.
The White House opposes the ban, offering alternative solutions. Instead of an all-out ban on semiautomatic guns, Trump has approved the ban of bump stocks, a modification that increases the speed of fire on a semi-automatic firearm.
In the two weeks since the tragedy in Florida, the president has also insisted we pay more attention to mental health, suggesting Monday that we revisit mental institutions and improve our warning system. He has also consistently called for concealed carry in schools, yet has noted that only teachers with firearm training should be carrying a gun.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and faculty will return to school on Wednesday.