The latest push to curb Second Amendment rights comes in the form of a Democrat-led bill that seeks to impose a sweeping firearms ban with exceptions that gun rights groups say are so fuzzy that the prohibition could prohibit nearly all semi-automatic handguns.
The bill, dubbed the Gas-Operated Semi-Automatic Firearms Exclusion Act (GOSAFE) that a gun rights group panned as “perhaps the most sweeping gun prohibition bill of the 21st Century,” was introduced on Nov. 29 by a number of Democrat senators, along with an Independent—with no Republicans joining.
Generally, the key idea of the bill is to ban firearms that can be fired quickly (along with accessories that increase firing speed) and have the ability to accept magazines with a capacity of 10 rounds or more, all in a bid to limit “a firearm’s ability to inflict maximum harm in a short amount of time.”
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), the bill’s co-sponsor, said in a statement that the measure seeks to keep “those firearms that are inherently dangerous and unusually lethal, designed for maximum harm, out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others.”
Gun control group Everytown hailed the measure as “innovative,” while the National Rifle Association (NRA) called it “perhaps the most sweeping gun prohibition bill of the 21st Century” and a violation of Americans’ constitutional rights.
What’s in the Bill?
The GOSAFE Act seeks to impose a series of new regulations on the sale, transfer, and manufacture of many types of semi-automatic firearms.
For instance, it would require that all semi-automatic rifles above .22 caliber have a permanently fixed magazine capacity of 10 bullets or fewer while imposing an outright federal-level ban on all such magazines.
The bill also has a requirement for the capacity of gas-operated semi-automatic rifles above .22 caliber to be “permanently fixed,” meaning that any such firearm capable of taking a larger capacity magazine would be banned.
Another provision prohibits any modifications—such as installing bump stocks or Glock switches—while also banning build-it-yourself ghost gun kits.
The bill would also require government approval of any future semi-automatic firearm designs before manufacture, and it would establish a list of prohibited firearms.
There are exemptions to the bill’s sweeping scope, including bolt action rifles, semi-automatic and recoil-operated shotguns, any rifle or shotgun with a permanently fixed magazine of 10 rounds or less, and any handgun with a permanently fixed magazine of 15 rounds or less.