Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 20 colleagues in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, a bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“Congress cannot ignore our country’s gun violence epidemic. The names of too many American communities and cities—from Sutherland Springs to Las Vegas, Orlando to San Bernardino, Newtown to Aurora—invoke painful memories of murder and mayhem inflicted by these deadly weapons,” Senator Carper. “In the wake of these tragedies, it's time to renew the ban on military-style assault weapons. These deadly weapons were designed for the battlefield—they have no place in our neighborhoods.”

Joining Senators Carper and Feinstein on the bill are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

Key provisions

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners can keep existing weapons.  
  • Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics, including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners can keep existing weapons.
  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners can keep existing magazines. 

Exemptions to bill

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes. This list will be updated to include additional weapons. 
  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

Other provisions:

  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

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