Does Cybersecurity Amendment Ban Semi-Autos
On July 25, 2012 an amendment was submitted by Senator Frank Lautenberg to S3414, the new cybersecuirty bill being considered in the Senate. The amendment was in response to the shooting in Aurora, Colorado and is intended to reinstitute an assault weapons ban.
However, the language in the amendment is causing even more concern for gun rights activists than a mere ban on high capacity magazines. The language of the amendment is different from the 1994 assault weapons ban and could be interpreted to ban all semi-automatic weapons.
Consider this, the 1994 legislation that instituted the assault weapons ban was called the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. As can be seen on the second amendment page on this site, the term "large capacity ammunition feeding device" is defined in that language as follows:
(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device manufactured after the date of enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition;
The amendment submitted to the cybersecurity bill on the 25th contains language similar to the wording used to define a high capacity feeding device in the 1994 ban, but with some additional text. The full text of the amendment is shown below with the related text bolded by us. As you can see, the amendment uses the previous text with the additional words: "that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition."
This additional text of outlawing anything capable of accepting more than ten rounds of ammunition would seem to outlaw any weapon, such as a pistol or assault weapon, that is merely capable of accepting a magazine that contains more than 10 rounds.
SA 2575. Mr. LAUTENBERG (for himself, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. REED, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mr. SCHUMER, and Mrs. FEINSTEIN) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 3414, to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:At the appropriate place, insert the followingSEC. __. PROHIBITION ON TRANSFER OR POSSESSION OF LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES.
- (a) Definition.--Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after paragraph (29) the following:
- ``(30) The term `large capacity ammunition feeding device'--
- ``(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; but
- ``(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.''.
- (b) Prohibitions.--Section 922 of such title is amended by inserting after subsection (u) the following:
- ``(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
- ``(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection.
- ``(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to import or bring into the United States a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
- ``(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to--
- ``(A) a manufacture for, transfer to, or possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a transfer to or possession by a law enforcement officer employed by such an entity for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);
- ``(B) a transfer to a licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical protection system and security organization required by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of such a licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;
- ``(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise prohibited from receiving ammunition, of a large capacity ammunition feeding device transferred to the individual by the agency upon that retirement; or
- ``(D) a manufacture, transfer, or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device by a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.''.
The amendment was put forth by Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey and was co-sponsored by Sen Barbara Boxer of California, Sen Jach Reed of Rhode Island, Sen Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen Charles Schumer of New York, and Sen Diane Fienstein of California.