On the first day of work of the next Congress which is scheduled on January 3, house Democrats plan to introduce a bill to ban high-capacity gun magazines.
The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act will replace a failed bill which has been previously introduced.
In the wake of the Newtown’s shootings earlier this month, the legislation is believed to be heightened political urgency to act when it is reintroduced on Jan. 3.
The bill, backed by DeGette and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, has gained high support and sponsorship from Democrats after the shooting which took away dozens of people, including children. Meanwhile, Republicans haven’t come forward to offer their support.
House Speaker John Boehner, who seems not to be optimistic about the legislation, has not indicated whether he will allow it to come to the floor for a vote.
However, backer are hopeful, noting that a ban on high-capacity magazines would be a smaller concession for gun-rights advocates than a broader assault weapons ban, reports The Huffington Post.
The bill which is to be introduced next week would limit magazines, belts, drums, feed strips and “similar device[s]” to 10 rounds of ammunition.
It would is hoped to allow people to hold on to the “large capacity ammunition feeding device[s]” that they have at their disposal at the moment, but prohibit them from buying others or transferring the ones they have.
The legislation would also exempt retired and current law enforcement officials who use those devices for “purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty).”
The list of exempted also includes contractors who have been licensed to carry the devices for security purposes required by federal law.
“I’m not so naïve as to think that we can pass some law that will stop a deranged person from taking a gun and shooting people…What I am interested in is making it as difficult as possible for that deranged person to shoot as many people as possible,” DeGette told reporters.
She said two weeks ago: “We are demanding that Speaker Boehner bring it up for a vote this week. And we are looking for ways to make that vote happen.”
“Right away we could pass … we could pass the ban on the assault magazine,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell two weeks ago. “Just to ban the magazine, the assault magazine, we could do it right now.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney has earlier revealed that President Barack Obama supported the concept, and he also supported renewal of the assault weapons ban and closure of the gun-show loophole.
The re-elected U.S. president had also spoken about gun control legislation on Tuesday, via phone, with Sen. Joe Manchin, a long-time gun rights activist who has changed his tune post Sandy Hook. But as of now there are no specifics.
“At some point you’ll hear from him more broadly on this issue, but I don’t have a time frame on that,” said Carney.