Hawaii senators help introduce bill that would ban assault rifles in U.S.

Hawaii News Now
A bill that would ban that sale, transfer, creation or importation of military-style assault weapons was introduced on the Senate floor Tuesday by a group that includes Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and Sen. Mazie Hirono.

The measure, which also includes the outlawing of high-capacity ammunition magazines, was introduced in response to recent mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nevada and Sutherland, Texas, where assault-type weapons were used.

"We're introducing an updated Assault Weapons Ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for a debate and a vote," said Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California).

26 people were slaughtered at a Texas church on Sunday by a gunman who was able to buy weapons because his domestic violence conviction was never reported to a federal database that is used to conduct background checks on would-be gun purchasers. The U.S. Air Force took responsibility for the error earlier this week.

Last month, a man in a Las Vegas hotel room with several assault-style weapons opened fire on a nearby country music festival, killing 58 and wounding 546 others. The incident would become the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Sales of assault rifles were banned in the U.S. for a ten-year period between 1994 and 2004 as part of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. The law's sunset provision took effect in September of 2004, and attempts to renew the ban were not successful.