WASHINGTON – House Democrats will introduce legislation to ban the production of high-capacity magazines on the first day of the next congressional session, the office of Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), one of the lawmakers sponsoring the bill, told The Huffington Post.
The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act will mirror a failed bill introduced during the 112th Congress. Its authors hope that in the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 first grade students in Newtown, Conn., there will be heightened political urgency to act when it is reintroduced on Jan. 3.
Backed by DeGette and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), the legislation has gained a wave of Democratic co-sponsors since the shooting, which also claimed the lives of 7 adults. But few Republicans have come forward to offer their support. Even more critical to the bill’s political prospects, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has not indicated whether he will allow it to come to the floor for a vote.
Still, backers are hopeful, noting that a ban on high-capacity magazines – which have been involved in many of the recent high-profile instances of mass gun violence – would be a smaller concession for gun-rights advocates than a broader assault weapons ban.
The bill Democrats will introduce would limit magazines, belts, drums, feed strips and “similar device[s]” to 10 rounds of ammunition. It would allow people to hold on to the “large capacity ammunition feeding device[s]” that they currently own, but prohibit them from buying others or transferring the ones they have.
The bill would also exempt retired and current law enforcement officials who use those devices for “purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty)” as well as contractors who have been licensed to carry the devices for security purposes required by federal law.
“In short, the Romney/Ryan ticket would reverse more than a century of hard-fought progress for women. Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan, the women of America have a message for you: We’re not going back. We’re going forward. Forward with a Presidents who understands and defends the rights and interests of American women. Forward with a President who believes in economic opportunity and equal pay for equal work.”
In fact, there were over 4 million visits to Planned Parenthood clinics last year, and over 90 percent of this was basic women’s health care, and not abortions. So why are we talking about this today? Why are we talking about this legislation? Planned Parenthood does these services, and no federal funds are spent on abortion services that Planned Parenthood does provide. But yet the majority will take the radical step of denying women of the basic health care they need. This radical agenda is wrong — it’s wrong for American women, and it’s wrong for us, when the federal budget expires in just 13 days.
We tend to think of reproductive health policy through six values. These six values are based on what we’ve heard from Planned Parenthood’s 2.7 million patients, and what we’re pushing to guarantee for all of us. These values not only guide nationwide legislation, but also legislation at the state level.
1. We all have the right to plan when and if to have a child. Expanding access to birth control is crucial, which has been incredibly successful in Oregon, where women are able to obtain up to 12 months of birth control refills.
2. Doctors help decide our medical care — not politics or religious restrictions. The EACH Woman Act, which was introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), is just one piece of legislation that would insure that politicians would not be a barrier in women who wish to obtain an abortion.
3. Our rights shouldn’t depend on who we are, where we work, or where we live. Rights to basic and quality reproductive health care is something that should be universal throughout the United States.
4. We all deserve access to sex education. We all deserve access to sex education programs that give us the reliable, accurate information we need to make responsible decisions and stay healthy. Currently, both the House and Senate wish to slash funding for comprehensive sex education and triple or quadruple funding for abstinence-only sex education.
5. We will not stand for coercion, harassment or intimidation. State laws that acknowledge and fund programs to prevent violence and harassment toward women seeking reproductive health care are integral to any efforts to address violence against women.
6. Victims of sexual violence deserve care without delay, judgement or intimidation. If anyone experiences sexual violence, they should have access to compassionate health care without delay, judgment, or government interference.
If you want to read more about our values, click here.
If you want to check out other organization’s values relating to reproductive justice, check out our friends at Sister Song.