We knew Democrats would be introducing new gun legislation as soon as Congress returns in January, from Sen. Dianne Feinstein's assault-weapons ban to Sen. Jay Rockefeller's push to regulate high-capacity magazines. But the big question since the gun debate took off after the Newtown shootings was simple: Will House Republicans back any of this? Now comes word that Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) will introduce a bill next Thursday limiting those high-capacity clips that lacks GOP support right now, but that supporters hope "would be a smaller concession for gun-rights advocates than a broader assault weapons ban." The Huffington Post's Sam Stein has a bunch of new details:
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.
High-capacity magazines allowed shooters like Adam Lanza and James Holmes to fire several rounds during their shootings this year, and a limit on their sales is not unprecedented. On a local level, California has a similar law in effect, while Connecticut Governor Dan Mallow has asked for a high-capacity ban in his state after the Sandy Hook massacre. And, of course, Meet the Press host David Gregory is still under investigation for holding up a high-capacity magazine as a prop on his show last Sunday. Conservatives seem to have relished that sideshow, but when it comes to Republicans backing actual legislation, the jury is still out on whether or not Speaker Boehner will allow this bill to come to a vote. Stein amended his scoop today to point to two House Republicans who have signaled tentative support for such a measure, with clip legislation separated from an assault-weapons ban, the last of which ran out in 2004.