Press Releases

House Judiciary Committee Advances Assault Weapons Ban for First Times in Decades

Every committee Republican voted against removing weapons of war from our streets

Washington, July 20, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House Judiciary Committee today advanced the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2021, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), that would ban the sale, import, manufacture or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons. Today’s committee action marks the first markup of the assault weapons ban since 1994. The markup follows a recent string of mass shooting involving assault weapons—including the murder of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas at the hands of an AR-15. The bill passed 25 to 18, with every Republican present voting no. 

“From Buffalo to Uvalde to just this week in Indianapolis, high-powered assault weapons are being used at a frightening rate to commit mass murder in communities across the country,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. “As we have painfully learned in recent years, assault weapons—especially when combined with high-capacity magazines—are the weapon of choice for mass shootings because they’re designed to kill with ruthless efficiency. This legislation will remove these dangerous weapons of war from our communities and is another step towards keeping our children and families safe from gun violence. I thank Congressman Cicilline for his  hard work and dedication to passing this lifesaving legislation.” 

“We are in the midst of a gun violence epidemic – an epidemic of carnage and unspeakable loss that has left far too many families broken. And we know something that will reduce this bloodshed, because we saw the Assault Weapons Ban work from 1994 – 2004,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Compared with the decade before its adoption, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was associated with a 25 percent drop in gun massacres and a 40 percent drop in fatalities. As soon as the ban expired, fatalities and shootings skyrocketed again. In fact, researchers estimate that if we still had a federal Assault Weapons Ban, we would see 70 percent fewer mass shooting deaths. Maybe if we hadn’t let this law lapse, the parents at Parkland – or Sandy Hook or Uvalde or in too many other places to name – wouldn’t have to bury their children. We owe it to them, and every parent, grandparent, brother, sister, neighbor to pass H.R. 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022 to protect our communities and get these weapons of war out of communities so that no other family has to face this unimaginable loss.”

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (H.R. 1808):

  • Would make it unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, or transfer the following:
    • All semi-automatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one of the following military features: (1) pistol grip; (2) forward grip; (3) folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; (4) grenade launcher; (5) barrel shroud; or (6) threaded barrel.
    • All semi-automatic rifles that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
    • Bump fire stocks and any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
    • All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one of the following military features: (1) threaded barrel; (2) second pistol grip; (3) barrel shroud; (4) capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or (5) semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
    • All semi-automatic shotguns that have at least one of the following (1) a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; (2) pistol grip; (3) fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; (4) ability to accept a detachable magazine; (5) forward grip; (6) grenade launcher; or (7) shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
    • High capacity feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
  • Would allow for the sale, transfer, or possession of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021
  • Specifies that its restrictions do not apply to antique firearms, manually-operated firearms, and more than 2,000 specified models of hunting and sporting firearms.