Issues

Kaine Introduces New ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban in Senate

Sen. Tim Kaine with fellow Democratic Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee members / Getty

Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential election, joined with a number of his Democratic colleagues Tuesday to introduce legislation banning the sale and transfer of "military-style assault weapons."

Kaine stated that his decision to reintroduce the ban is a direct result of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. earlier this month, which left 17 dead and countless wounded. Kaine also cited the vocal criticism being leveled at Congress by the survivors of Parkland as an impetus for action.

"In the wake of Parkland and countless other tragedies, it's all too clear that we need to take action to protect our communities from gun violence. Students and parents across the country are courageously speaking up to shake Congress out of its complacency," Kaine said. "We owe it to them to act."

The legislation would ban the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of 205 different "military-style" weapons. The bill defines "military-style" as any 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." The bill also bans magazines and ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The bill includes exceptions for current owners of such firearms and magazines.

The 125-page bill includes language to require universal background checks on any future sale or trade of assault weapons, require weapons grandfathered into the ban be stored securely or augmented with trigger locks, and ban "bump-fire stock" devices.

The legislation, which Kaine introduced with Sen. Diane Feinstein (D., Calif.), has failed to garner any Republican co-sponsors.