MSNBC's Ali Velshi: 'Nobody in America Has Suggested Banning Any Guns' (They Have)

March 21, 2019

MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi said "nobody in America has suggested banning any guns" during coverage Thursday of new gun control measures in New Zealand, although in fact many people in America have suggested banning types of guns.

Velshi had on gun control advocate Shannon Watts and sought to take the conversation in a different direction than discussing the new gun bans in New Zealand following last week's massacre at two mosques that left 50 dead.

"Nobody in America has suggested banning any guns, but we have so many guns in this country that it causes other problems, right?" he asked, going on to discuss a recent NBC News report on the prevalence of suicide by guns in the United States.

Velshi's comment is curious, given the intense wave of support for gun control measures on the left, particularly in the past year since the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Florida.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) introduced an assault weapons ban in January that "would ban the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of certain semiautomatic firearms":

Feinstein's bill, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, would ban the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of certain semiautomatic firearms. The text of the bill has not yet been released, but Feinstein's office said it would ban any firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine and either a "pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock." Firearms fitting the description would become illegal to sell if the bill was passed but those already legally owned would remain legal but become subject to additional regulations. Transfers of so-called high capacity magazines would also be banned under the proposal, though the senator's office didn't specify what would constitute a "high capacity."

In Virginia, a Democratic bill that would have made it illegal to possess or transport "any assault firearm" failed in January. The Free Beacon reported that would define any gun "equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition" or one that is "designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock."

Gun control advocates like the founders of "March for our Lives" have sought to ban America's most popular rifle, the AR-15, as well as different types of "assault weapons," which are defined differently depending on the state.

Presidential candidate and former representative Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) sought to split the difference on the issue, calling for a banning on the selling of AR-15s but telling those who have them they could keep them.

Velshi amended his remark on Twitter.