Former President Bill Clinton on Thursday called for the ban on assault weapons that he signed in 1994 to be brought back into effect following deadly mass shootings over the weekend that left more than 30 dead and dozens more injured.
Clinton signed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994. The measure banned the sale of those firearms for ten years.
“Elected officials speak about the need for change,” he wrote in Time magazine.
“But the tragedies do keep happening, while the one thing that we know can reduce the number and the death tolls of mass shootings has not been done: reinstituting the ban on assault weapons and the limit on high-capacity magazines that was in effect from 1994 to 2004.”
He added that “for too long, the gun lobby and their elected allies have stalled, deflected and changed the conversation until the pressure abates and they can get back to business, heedless of the killings inevitably yet to come… The gun lobby often invokes the Democratic losses in the 1994 midterm elections after passing the assault-weapons ban and the Brady background-check bill to try to scare lawmakers of both parties into maintaining the status quo.”
The former president concludes by saying that the time has come to re-enact the ban and limit access to automatic weapons.
“The 2018 elections, thanks to the passionate activism of citizen groups across the country, proved that it’s a different world now,” he wrote. “Today members of Congress will be supported if they reinstate the assault-weapons and large-ammunition magazine bans.”
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