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New US Bill Would Ban Gun Magazines Holding More than 10 Rounds - Senator

© AP Photo / Elaine ThompsonSemi-automatic rifles
Semi-automatic rifles - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A newly proposed piece of legislation would ban the import, sale and manufacture of gun magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition in an attempt to end or cut back mass shootings in the United States, Senator Robert Menendez said in a press release.

"Menendez and Congressman Ted Deutch today introduced the Keep Americans Safe Act, common sense public safety legislation that would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition," the release said on Tuesday.

Those high-capacity magazines are designed for shooting en masse and are an accessory of choice among many mass shooters, the release said.

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Menendez and Deutch announced their bill just days before the anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in the US state of Florida. The perpetrator, Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 people and wounded 16 more using a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

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The shooting in Florida reignited a national debate over gun control, and has increased the pressure on US lawmakers to consider a number of measures that they have blocked in the past, including reforms of the national background check system for gun buyers.

Under current US laws, unlicensed or private gun sellers may transfer firearms without background checks. Research on the subject suggests that nearly 25 percent of all gun transfers in the United States happen without a background check.

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In January, more than 40 US senators reintroduced legislation that would expand federal background checks on all gun sales.

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According to the bill, the legislation would expand expand federal background checks to all firearm transfers, excluding, however, transfers between law enforcement officers, temporary loans, inheritance or gifts to immediate family members.

Previous attempts to strengthen background checks have stalled in Congress in part due to fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

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