UPDATED 7/18 — Anti-gun House Democrats have scheduled a markup Wednesday on H.R. 1808, a bill that would ban so-called “assault weapons,” and “any semi-automatic rifle ‘that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition,’” according to the National Rifle Association.
The legislation is sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), and will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee.
The measure would also place limits on so-called “high capacity magazines,” and prohibit firearms found on a lengthy list contained in the bill.
There is another list, this one naming hundreds of rifles and shotguns which are exempted from the legislation.
Critics are calling the legislation unconstitutional. In addition to the NRA, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has alerted its members of the looming Wednesday markup. The National Shooting Sports Foundation—the industry trade organization—estimated in 2020 there were almost 20 million firearms that might be categorized as so-called “assault weapons.” That number has certainly grown by now, considering the surge in gun buying that has occurred in the past two years. As noted by the NRA, these firearms come standard with magazines that hold more than ten cartridges.
This markup will come three days after a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in Greenwood, Indiana only to be shot dead by a legally-armed citizen identified by an Associated Press report as Elisjsha Dicken, of Seymour almost immediately after beginning his rampage. Five people were hit, three fatally, before the killer was stopped. The 22-year-old legally-armed citizen is being hailed as a hero by the Greenwood mayor and police chief, among others.
As more details emerge about the mall shooting, authorities were saying Monday afternoon the suspected murderer was a 20-year-old identified as Jonathan Sapirman, of Greenwood who apparently spent just over an hour in a nearby restroom before going into the food court. He was taken down within two minutes the armed citizen, according to a Fox News update.
The dead attacker left his job in May. He reportedly had two firearms including one carried in a backpack.
Despite all the sensationalism heaped on semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47, the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report invariably shows that rifles of any kind are used in a fraction of all homicides in any given year. Typically, the number hovers around 2 to 4 percent.