Sheila Jackson Lee Decries Automatic Weapons Ownership in Speech on Gun Violence

September 28, 2016

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas) associated automatic weapons with gun violence in America on the House floor Wednesday.

Jackson Lee was talking about closing gun loopholes and additional background checks when she tried to draw the connection.

"Simple legislation that could be passed. I think it is crucial in America that we do so, because the violence has many roots–housing, health care, poverty, but certainly it has the tool, and that is guns," Jackson Lee said."

"That is automatic weapons like AK-47s and others more sophisticated. America has a right to the Second Amendment, but the people of America have a right to safety and the prevention of gun violence in their community," she continued.

Automatic weapons are not commonly used in gun crimes in America, however. Since 1986, the sale of newly manufactured automatic weapons to civilians have been banned. If an individual wants to purchase an automatic weapon, they have to go through a strict vetting process while also registering that weapon with the federal government. As a result, automatic weapons are also very expensive to personally own.

Though the FBI does not keep records on the use of fully-automatic weapons in crime, it is widely believed that automatic weapons are rarely used in such circumstances.

Jackson Lee has been a vocal advocate for gun control in the House of Representatives and has called for a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban.